Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are a diverse group of small, membrane-bound structures that are released by various types of cells into the extracellular environment. They play crucial roles in cell-to-cell communication, allowing cells to exchange information, signals, and molecules without direct contact.
EVs are involved in various physiological and pathological processes, including immune response regulation, tissue repair, cancer progression, and more.
TYPES OF EVs
There are three main types of extracellular vesicles
These are the smallest type of EVs, typically ranging in size from 30 to 150 nanometers. Exosomes are formed within the endosomal pathway of the cell.
They are released when multivesicular bodies fuse with the cell’s plasma membrane, releasing the intraluminal vesicles (now considered exosomes) into the extracellular space.
Exosomes contain a variety of molecules; proteins, lipids, RNA, and even DNA.
These are larger than exosomes, typically ranging from 100 to 1,000 nanometers in size. Microvesicles are formed through outward budding and fission of the plasma membrane.
They can contain similar types of cargo as exosomes, including proteins, lipids, and various forms of RNA.
Microvesicles are released from the cell surface and can directly interact with target cells.
These are the largest type of extracellular vesicles, ranging from 1,000 to 5,000 nanometers in size. Apoptotic bodies are released during a controlled process of programmed cell death called apoptosis.
They are formed when cells undergo apoptotic changes and fragment into membrane-bound structures that can be engulfed and cleared by phagocytic cells.
POTENTIAL OF EVs
Potential of EVs for various applications
EVs can serve as biomarkers for diseases since their cargo can provide insights into the condition of the cells they originated from.
EVs can be engineered to carry cargo and target specific cell types. This makes them great candidates to deliver therapeutic molecules to treat various diseases.
EVs derived from stem cells or other regenerative cell sources have shown potential for promoting tissue repair and regeneration by influencing local cell populations.
Dr. Kirsten Brown PT, DPT
NOMPTI Certified Cervical Spine Specialist
Salvador Renteria, DO
Board Certified in Surgery and Integrative Medicine
Director, Clinical Operations
What are exosomes in simple terms?
What is the purpose of exosomes?
Where do exosomes come from?
MSCs derived exosomal cargo exhibit intracellular signaling and communications to targeted tissues. The key sources of exosomes derived from the MSCs include bone marrow, adipose tissue, placental cells, umbilical cells, endometrial fluid, and amniotic fluid.
What is the difference between stem cells and exosomes?
Stem cells are a special type of cell found in the body. They’re unique because they can become any type of cell, and they act as both building blocks and repair mechanisms in your body. Exosomes are extracellular vesicles, which is the medical term for tiny bubbles that are released from stem cells.
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How many exosome treatments are needed?