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Chistiakov DA, Orekhov AN, Bobryshev YV.
Cell Mol Life Sci. 2015 Apr 17. [Epub ahead of print]


Circulating extracellular vesicles (EVs) comprise a heterogeneous population of vesicular structures. According to the current paradigm, there are three types of EVs, including exosomes, microvesicles and apoptotic bodies, that are differentiated in their size, formation, and release mechanisms. EVs were shown to act as a 'post service' that serves a long-distance delivery of complex cellular messages. The cargo of EVs consists of a variety of biomolecules including proteins, DNA, mRNA, and non-coding RNA. In normal or pathological conditions, EVs deliver various molecules to the recipient cells. Those molecules greatly vary depending on the microenvironmental stimuli. In proinflammatory conditions such as atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases, EVs derived from vascular endothelial cells, vascular smooth muscle cells, macrophages, and other circulating immune cells mainly possess proinflammatory properties. However, the capacity of circulating EVs to stably maintain and deliver a variety of biomolecules makes these microparticles to be a promising therapeutic tool for treatment of cardiovascular pathology. To date, circulating EVs were evaluated to be as a source of valuable diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers such as microRNA. Circulating EVs keep a great therapeutic potential to serve as vehicles for targeted therapy of cardiovascular diseases.