Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2012 Nov;44(11):2060-4. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2012.08.007. Epub 2012 Aug 10.

Exosomes: new players in cell-cell communication.

Author information

Institute of Molecular and Translational Therapeutic Strategies, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany.


Exosomes are small membrane vesicles of endosomal origin, which are secreted from a variety of cell types. During the 1980s exosomes were first described as organelles to remove cell debris and unwanted molecules. The discovery that exosomes contain proteins, messenger and microRNAs suggests a role as mediators in cell-to-cell communication. Exosomes can be transported between different cells and influence physiological pathways in the recipient cells. In the present review, we will summarize the biological function of exosomes and their involvement in physiological and pathological processes. Moreover, the potential clinical application of exosomes as biomarkers and therapeutic tools will be discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center