Understanding the Exopher: A Novel Mechanism for Extrusion of Neurotoxic Contents

  • Driscoll, Monica M.A (PI)
  • Grant, Barth B.D (CoPI)
  • Hall, David H. (CoPI)
  • Driscoll, Monica A. (CoPI)
  • Grant, Barth Demian (CoPI)
  • Hall, David H. (CoPI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


We discovered a previously unrecognized mechanism by which neurons protect against effects of protein aggregation—they physically throw out their threatening trash in membrane-surrounded large vesicles (exophers) for uptake by remote cells. We propose that exopher-genesis is a conserved pathway for maintaining neuronal health and we speculate that dysfunction of the exopher pathway contributes to neurodegeneration and spread of neurotoxic species. Our planned study of how exophers are made and react with neighboring tissues may provide novel insight that can be manipulated for future therapeutic benefit.
Effective start/end date9/30/13 → 11/30/22


  • National Institute on Aging: $503,794.00


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