Circulating Extracellular Vesicles and Rheumatoid Arthritis: a Proteomic Analysis

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Circulating extracellular vesicles (EVs) are membrane-bound nanoparticles secreted by most cells for intracellular communication and transportation of biomolecules. EVs carry proteins, lipids, nucleic acids, and receptors that are involved in human physiology and pathology. EV cargo is variable and highly related to the type and state of the cellular origin. Three subtypes of EVs have been identified: exosomes, microvesicles, and apoptotic bodies. Exosomes are the smallest and the most well-studied class of EVs that regulate different biological processes and participate in several diseases, such as cancers and autoimmune diseases. Proteomic analysis of exosomes succeeded in profiling numerous types of proteins involved in disease development and prognosis. In rheumatoid arthritis (RA), exosomes revealed a potential function in joint inflammation. These EVs possess a unique function, as they can transfer specific autoantigens and mediators between distant cells. Current proteomic data demonstrated that exosomes could provide beneficial effects against autoimmunity and exert an immunosuppressive action, particularly in RA. Based on these observations, effective therapeutic strategies have been developed for arthritis and other inflammatory disorders.

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Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, v. 79, art. 25