The potential theragnostic application of exosomes in diverse biomedical fields

Exosomes are membranous vesicles of 30-150 nm in diameter that are derived from the exocytosis of the intraluminal vesicles of many cell types including immune cells, stem cells, cardiovascular cells and tumor cells. Exosomes participate in intercellular communication by delivering their contents to recipient cells, with or without direct contact between cells, and thereby influence physiological and pathological processes. They are present in various body fluids and contain proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, and microRNAs that can be transported to surrounding cells. Theragnosis is a concept in next-generation medicine that simultaneously combines accurate diagnostics with therapeutic effects. Molecular components in exosomes have been found to be related to certain diseases and treatment responses, indicating that they may have applications in diagnosis via molecular imaging and biomarker detection. In addition, recent studies have reported that exosomes have immunotherapeutic applications or can act as a drug delivery system for targeted therapies with drugs and biomolecules.

Researchers from Hanyang University describe the formation, structure, and physiological roles of exosomes. They also discuss their roles in the pathogenesis and progression of diseases including neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. The potential applications of exosomes for theragnostic purposes in various diseases are also discussed. This review summarizes the current knowledge about the physiological and pathological roles of exosomes as well as their diagnostic and therapeutic uses, including emerging exosome-based therapies that could not be applied until now.


The composition of cell-derived exosomes and interactions with recipient cells

Kim YS, Ahn JS, Kim S, Kim HJ, Kim SH, Kang JS. (2018) The potential theragnostic (diagnostic+therapeutic) application of exosomes in diverse biomedical fields. Korean J Physiol Pharmacol 22(2):113-125. [article]


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