Extracellular Vesicles in Liver Diseases: Their Role in Pathogenesis and Their Application as Biomarkers and Therapeutic Agents
Prof. Han Moshage E-Mail
Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands
Research Keywords: chronic liver diseases, apoptosis, necrosis, lipotoxicity, fatty liver diseases, oxidative stress, signal transduction, fibrosis, inflammation, hepatocytes, Kupffer cells, stellate cells
Interest in extracellular vesicles or exosomes has grown dramatically in recent years. Extracellular vesicles are membrane-surrounded vesicles that are actively released from cells and impact on other cells and tissues in the body. Extracellular vesicles contain a vast array of biologically active molecules such as proteins, lipids and nucleic acids, including (mi)RNAs. The cargo of extracellular vesicles is delivered to target cells, both in the proximity of the releasing cells, as well as to distant cells via the circulation. Therefore, extracellular vesicles play an important role in intercellular communication.
The content of the vesicles is dependent on the ‘health status’ of the cell: ‘healthy’ cells release vesicles with a different content compared to vesicles released from ‘diseased’ cells. Therefore, extracellular vesicles may not only be used as biomarkers, but may also yield novel insights in the pathogenesis of diseases. Extracellular vesicles also play an important role in intercellular communication and pathogenesis of liver diseases, e.g. metabolic dysfunction associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD) and liver cancer.
In this Special Issue of the journal Exploration of Digestive Diseases, we welcome contributions that shed light on the role of extracellular vesicles in liver diseases. These contributions can be reviews, original research, comments and methodological notes and will cover the entire spectrum from the role of extracellular vesicles in pathogenesis of liver disease to the characterization of their content (proteomics, RNA sequencing), their application as biomarkers in clinical practice and as vehicles for drug delivery.
Keywords: extracellular vesicles, exosomes, liver diseases, biomarkers, proteomics, miRNA, RNA sequencing, metabolic dysfunction-associated fatty liver disease