Exosomes are nano-sized biovesicles of endocytic origin physiologically released by nearly all cell types into surrounding body fluids. They carry cell-specific cargos of protein, lipids, and genetic materials and can be selectively taken up by neighboring or distant cells. Since the intrinsic properties of exosomes are strictly influenced by the state of the parental cell and by the cellular microenvironment, the analysis of exosome origin and content, and their cell-targeting specificity, make them attractive as possible diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers. While the possible role of exosomes as messengers and a regenerative tool in cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) is actively investigated, the evidence about their usefulness as biomarkers is still limited and incomplete. Further complications are due to the lack of consensus regarding the most appropriate approach for exosome isolation and characterization, both important issues for their effective clinical translation. As a consequence, in this review, we will discuss the few information currently accessible about the diagnostic/prognostic potential of exosomes in CVDs and on the methodologies available for exosome isolation, analysis, and characterization.
Zarà M, Amadio P, Campodonico J, Sandrini L, Barbieri SS. Exosomes in Cardiovascular Diseases. Diagnostics (Basel) 2020 Nov 12;10(11):E943. doi: 10.3390/diagnostics10110943.