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An exosome-based therapeutic approach against chronic inflammation

Project description

Nature's cargo carriers may deliver preventative medicine across historically closed borders

Over the last few decades, a growing body of research suggests that chronic inflammation may be the common factor in numerous diseases. Aside from the obvious ones such as ulcerative colitis or rheumatoid arthritis, chronic inflammation has been linked to coronary artery disease, diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer's disease. Persistent DNA damage activates immune pathways leading to chronic inflammation and early onset neurodegeneration and metabolic disorders in mice. Current anti-inflammatory therapies also activate the immune system. The EU-funded InflaCare project is developing an exosome-based, non-immunogenic therapy that can even cross the blood-brain barrier, meaning its circulation in the blood could reach the brain and fight inflammation-related neurodegeneration. If successful, a simple systemic treatment could stall or stop the progress of many devastating diseases.


DNA damage triggers the activation of innate immune signaling leading to chronic inflammation and the premature onset of e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, metabolic diseases and neurodegenerative disorders in man. Based on our ERC consolidator program DeFiNER, we recently discovered that persistent DNA damage triggers the innate immune system stimulating broad inflammatory and antiviral immune countermeasures that lead to chronic inflammation and the premature onset of severe metabolic complications and neurodegeneration in mice. Here, we propose a sophisticated a therapeutic anti-inflammatory strategy aimed at lowering chronic inflammation in preclinical animal models with pronounced metabolic diseases or neurodegeneration. Unlike available anti-inflammatory therapies, the proposed therapeutic approach is non-immunogenic, allows the therapeutic cargo to circulate for extended periods within the body and to cross the blood brain barrier with no biocompatibility complications and minimal to no inherent toxicity issues in mice. This novel strategy provides, therefore, the means towards an innovative medicine that will effectively address real but unmet therapeutic needs for a wide range of devastating diseases associated with chronic inflammation.

Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 150 000,00
70013 Irakleio

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Νησιά Αιγαίου Κρήτη Ηράκλειο
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
No data

Beneficiaries (1)