Increasing evidence suggests that stem cells or stem cell-derived cells may contribute to tissue repair, not only by replacing lost tissue but also by delivering complex sets of secretory molecules, called secretomes, into host injured tissues. In recent years, extracellular vesicles (EVs) have gained much attention for their diverse and important roles in a wide range of pathophysiological processes. EVs are released from most types of cells and mediates cell–cell communication by activating receptors on target cells or by being taken up by recipient cells. EVs, including microvesicles and exosomes, encapsulate and carry proteins, nucleic acids, and lipids in the lumen and on the cell surface. Thus, EV-mediated intercellular communication has been extensively studied across various biological processes. While a number of investigations has been conducted in different tissues and body fluids, the field lacks a systematic review on stem cell-derived EVs, especially regarding their roles in stemness and differentiation. Here, we provide an overview of the pathophysiological roles of EVs and summarize recent findings focusing on EVs released from various types of stem cells. We also highlight emerging evidence for the potential implication of EVs in self-renewal, differentiation, and reprograming and discuss the benefits and limitations in translational approaches.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant funded by the Korean government (MIST) (No. 2020R1A2C2006240).
© 2021, The Korean Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Society.
- Extracellular vesicles
- Stem cell
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Biomedical Engineering