Extracellular vesicle interplay in cardiovascular pathophysiology

Sherin Saheera, Vivek P. Jani, Kenneth W. Witwer, Shelby Kutty

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are nanosized lipid bilayer-delimited particles released from cells that mediate intercellular communications and play a pivotal role in various physiological and pathological processes. Subtypes of EVs may include plasma membrane ectosomes or microvesicles and endosomal origin exosomes, although functional distinctions remain unclear. EVs carry cargo proteins, nucleic acids (RNA and DNA), lipids, and metabolites. By presenting or transferring this cargo to recipient cells, EVs can trigger cellular responses. We summarize contemporary understanding of EV biogenesis, composition, and function, with an emphasis on the role of EVs in the cardiovascular system. In addition, we outline the functional relevance of EVs in cardiovascular pathophysiology, further highlighting their potential for diagnostic and therapeutic applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H1749-H1761
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Ectosome
  • Exosomal cargo
  • Exosome
  • Extracellular vesicles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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