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J Neural Transm (Vienna). 2010 Jan;117(1):1-4. doi: 10.1007/s00702-009-0288-8. Epub 2009 Aug 13.

Astrocytes and Glioblastoma cells release exosomes carrying mtDNA.

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Department of Biomolecular Sciences, University of Urbino 'Carlo Bo', Urbino, Italy.


Cells can exchange information not only by means of chemical and/or electrical signals, but also via microvesicles released into the intercellular space. The present paper, for the first time, provides evidence that Glioblastoma and Astrocyte cells release microvesicles, which carry mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). These microvesicles have been characterised as exosomes in view of the presence of some protein markers of exosomes, such as Tsg101, CD9 and Alix. Thus, the important finding has been obtained that bonafide exosomes, constitutively released by Glioblastoma cells and Astrocytes, can carry mtDNA, which can be, therefore, transferred between cells. This datum may help the understanding of some diseases due to mitochondrial alterations.

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