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Intranasal administration of exosomes derived from mesenchymal stem cells improves autistic-like behaviors of BTBR mice

      Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disease with increasing rates among children every year. ASD is characterized by three core symptoms: social interaction deficits, cognitive inflexibility and communication disorders. Currently there is no effective treatment that can alleviate the core symptoms of the disorder. BTBR mice are excepted model of evaluating autistic like behaviors as they present core symptoms of autism. We have previously shown that transplantation of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) to the lateral ventricles of BTBR mice can benefit their behavioral phenotypes such increasing male to male social interaction, decreasing repetitive behaviors and decrease cognitive inflexibility. Here we show that intranasal administration of exosomes derived from mesenchymal stem cells (MSC-exo) leads to similar behavioral effects. Moreover, we show that MSC-exo tends to migrate towards areas of damages in the brain, making them unique delivery and diagnostic system for neurological pathologies. This finding may reveal a novel, non-invasive, therapeutic strategy to reduce ASD symptoms.
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