Extracellular Vesicles in Blood: Sources, Effects, and Applications.

International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Ainhoa AlberroDavid Otaegui

Abstract

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are important players for intercellular communication. EVs are secreted by almost all cell types; they can transfer information between nearby or distant cells, and they are highly abundant in body fluids. In this review, we describe the general characteristics of EVs, as well as isolation and characterization approaches. Then, we focus on one of the most relevant sources of EVs: the blood. Indeed, apart from EVs secreted by blood cells, EVs of diverse origins travel in the bloodstream. We present the numerous types of EVs that have been found in circulation. Besides, the implications of blood-derived EVs in both physiological and pathological processes are summarized, highlighting their potential as biomarkers for the diagnosis, treatment monitoring, and prognosis of several diseases, and also as indicators of physiological modifications. Finally, the applications of EVs introduced in the circulatory system are discussed. We describe the use of EVs from distinct origins, naturally produced or engineered, autologous, allogeneic, or even from different species and the effects they have when introduced in circulation. Therefore, the present work provides a comprehensive overview of the components, eff...Continue Reading

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