Small extracellular vesicles or exosomes: structural analysis in atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease using electron microscopy techniques

Small extracellular vesicles (sEVs) or exosomes are secretory vesicles largely involved in cell–cell communications and found to play a role in development as well as diseases including atherosclerosis. They hold a huge potential for translational research by devising better clinical diagnostics, biomarker discovery, drug delivery, and therapeutic strategies. Variations terms of morphology and distribution are crucial to biological function integrity. Moreover, it is dependent on susceptibility to influential factors of the environment like cell stress, inflammation, and secretion by different cells in subsequent biofluids.

Researchers at the India Institute of Medical Sciences observed the morphological variations in sEVs or exosomes freshly isolated from patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (AsCVD), in blood plasma, saliva, and urine biofluids compared to healthy controls. High-resolution images were obtained by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) for the characterization of sEVs morphology. Western blotting and immuno-TEM gold labeling confirmed the presence of exosome markers. For the first time, these researchers report size and shape variations, which suggest the existence of different functions of sEVs in the disease state. Morphological variations in sEVs were observed significantly in noninvasive AsCVD saliva and urine samples, important to understand the cell behavior and physiological state. These variations will be useful to investigate their possible role in the disease process.

Overview of biofluid small extracellular vesicles (sEVs) or exosomes
characterization and morphology

Overview of biofluid small extracellular vesicles (sEVs) or exosomes characterization and morphology.

Sharma P, Dhamija RK, Nag TC, Roy A, Inampudi KK. (2023) Different Biofluids, Small Extracellular Vesicles or Exosomes: Structural Analysis in Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease Using Electron Microscopy Techniques. Microscopy and Microanalysis [Epub ahead of print]. [article]

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