These are our introductory comments: 

Our talk for today is “The use of milk exosomes to increase the expression of Syngap1 expression in Syngap1 mice”

Dr. Janos Zempleni earned a Ph.D. in nutrition sciences from the Justus-Liebig University in Germany and received postdoctoral training in pediatric nutrition, nutritional biochemistry, and molecular and cell biology in different institutions. Dr. Zempleni joined the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2001 where he rose through the ranks and now is a Willa Cather Professor of Molecular Nutrition and founding director of the NIH-funded Nebraska Center for the Prevention of Obesity Diseases through Dietary Molecules.

The Zempleni lab has a long track record of research in nutrition and epigenetics. His laboratory is interested in natural nanoparticles that play an important role in cell-to-cell communication and the regulation of metabolism. Current focus areas in the Zempleni lab focus on the role of exosomes in human milk in the neurological development in infants, interactions between milk exosomes and the gut microbiome, and the use of milk exosomes in the delivery of drugs.

A recorded version of this webinar will be available on the SRF website under Webinars on the Family menu.

By the end of this presentation, you will have the opportunity to get the answer to your questions. We’d love to hear from you – please write your question in the Q&A.

Webinar Overview

Dr. Janos Zempleni is director of the Nebraska Center for the Prevention of Obesity Diseases and has a lab at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He starts the webinar by explaining extracellular vesicles, specifically emphasizing exosomes; exosomes are vesicles produced in cells and carry components such as nucleic acids and proteins. He then talks about milk exosomes which can be used for the delivery of therapeutics. The aim of his project is to increase SynGAP expression in the brain by delivering SYNGAP1-coding DNA through milk exosomes. Through his research with mice, he has found that milk exosomes can accumulate in the brain as well as other tissues. However, there are many components required to ensure the milk exosomes make it to the brain and don’t get destroyed. These components include the use of iRFP (near-infrared fluorescent protein) for distribution and expression, RVG (rabies virus glycoprotein) to target the brain, and CD47 protein to ensure macrophages don’t destroy the milk exosomes. The genetically engineered milk exosomes combined with SynGAP1 DNA should result in increased SynGAP expression in the brain. Dr. Zempleni closes by talking about undergoing research where they nasally administer the SYNGAP1 milk exosomes in mice.

Other Relevant Publications by Dr. Zempleni

Small Extracellular Vesicles in Milk Cross the Blood-Brain Barrier in Murine Cerebral Cortex Endothelial Cells and Promote Dendritic Complexity in the Hippocampus and Brain Function in C57BL/6J Mice

Genetically Altered Bovine Milk Exosomes (BMEs) Evade Elimination by Murine Bone Marrow-Derived Macrophages (BMDMs)

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