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J Cell Mol Med. 2018 Jun 12. doi: 10.1111/jcmm.13692. [Epub ahead of print]

Exosomes, the message transporters in vascular calcification.

Zhang C1,2, Zhang K1,2, Huang F1,2, Feng W1,2, Chen J2,3, Zhang H4, Wang J1,2, Luo P5, Huang H1,2.

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Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Malignant Tumor Epigenetics and Gene Regulation, Department of Cardiology, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China.
RNA Biomedical Institute, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, GuangZhou, China.
Department of Radiation Oncology, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China.
Cardiovascular Department, The Eighth Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Shenzhen, China.
State Key Laboratories for Quality Research in Chinese Medicines, Macau University of Science and Technology, Macau, China.


Vascular calcification (VC) is caused by hydroxyapatite deposition in the intimal and medial layers of the vascular wall, leading to severe cardiovascular events in patients with hypertension, chronic kidney disease and diabetes mellitus. VC occurrences involve complicated mechanism networks, such as matrix vesicles or exosomes production, osteogenic differentiation, reduced cell viability, aging and so on. However, with present therapeutic methods targeting at VC ineffectively, novel targets for VC treatment are demanded. Exosomes are proven to participate in VC and function as initializers for mineral deposition. Secreted exosomes loaded with microRNAs are also demonstrated to modulate VC procession in recipient vascular smooth muscle cells. In this review, we targeted at the roles of exosomes during VC, especially at their effects on transporting biological information among cells. Moreover, we will discuss the potential mechanisms of exosomes in VC.


exosomes; microRNA; osteogenic phenotype transition; vascular calcification

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