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Extracellular vesicles in metabolic disease – published online 05/11/2019

Fig from Akbar paper

Naveed Akbar, Valerio Azzimato, Robin P. Choudhury, Myriam Aouadi

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are considered promising candidates for the diagnosis and treatment of metabolic diseases. EVs are membrane-enclosed lipid spheres that serve as messengers by transporting lipids, proteins, RNA and/or DNA from the parent cell of origin to other cells. EVs present a potential major advantage over current blood-borne diagnostic markers as they can provide new functional insights into the cells and tissues implicated in metabolic disease. Recent discoveries in clinical cohorts and animal models has led to a blossoming of publications, implicating EVs in the biology and development of metabolic diseases. In this this issue, Akbar et al (https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-019-05014-5) discuss the role of platelet, endothelial, adipocyte, immune cell and gut-microbiome EVs in metabolic dysfunction, focusing on EV-dependent communication between adipocytes, the vasculature and immune cells in type 2 diabetes. They also explore potential issues associated with translating early biomarker discoveries into therapeutic targets. The figures from this review are available as a downloadable slideset.

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