Article Type

Original Study


The aim of this review was to assess the role of exosome microvesicles in medicine. Exosomes are spherical nanosized extracellular membrane vesicles that act as regulators of cell-to-cell communication and as immune modulators with immunosuppressive or immune-stimulating properties by delivering proteins or nucleic acid to recipient cells. Data were obtained from medical text books, medical journals, and all materials available on the internet from 2006 to 2014. We selected systematic reviews that addressed exosomes as well as studies that addressed the clinical implications and therapeutic potential of exosomes. A special search was conducted in Medline with the keywords in the title of papers; suitable studies were extracted, after assessing the quality and validity of the papers. Each study was reviewed independently. The obtained data were translated into the language understood by the researcher and have been arranged in topics throughout the article. Exosomes are believed to possess a powerful capacity to regulate cell survival/death, inflammation, and tumor metastasis, depending on their molecular content. The clinical application of exosomes as a drug delivery system for the treatment of autoimmune/inflammatory diseases and cancer is promising. Exosomes provide a novel minimally invasive approach to diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy.