Exosomes as Biomarkers for Female Reproductive Diseases Diagnosis and Therapy

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Feb 22;22(4):2165. doi: 10.3390/ijms22042165.


Cell-cell communication is an essential mechanism for the maintenance and development of various organs, including the female reproductive system. Today, it is well-known that the function of the female reproductive system and successful pregnancy are related to appropriate follicular growth, oogenesis, implantation, embryo development, and proper fertilization, dependent on the main regulators of cellular crosstalk, exosomes. During exosome synthesis, selective packaging of different factors into these vesicles happens within the originating cells. Therefore, exosomes contain both genetic and proteomic data that could be applied as biomarkers or therapeutic targets in pregnancy-associated disorders or placental functions. In this context, the present review aims to compile information about the potential exosomes with key molecular cargos that are dysregulated in female reproductive diseases which lead to infertility, including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), premature ovarian failure (POF), Asherman syndrome, endometriosis, endometrial cancer, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, and preeclampsia, as well as signaling pathways related to the regulation of the reproductive system and pregnancy outcome during these pathological conditions. This review might help us realize the etiology of reproductive dysfunction and improve the early diagnosis and treatment of the related complications.

Keywords: Exosome; female reproductive diseases; infertility.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / analysis*
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Endometriosis / diagnosis
  • Endometriosis / physiopathology
  • Exosomes* / physiology
  • Female
  • Genital Diseases, Female / diagnosis*
  • Genital Diseases, Female / physiopathology
  • Genital Diseases, Female / therapy*
  • Gynatresia / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Pre-Eclampsia / diagnosis
  • Pre-Eclampsia / physiopathology
  • Pregnancy
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency / diagnosis
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency / physiopathology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / physiopathology


  • Biomarkers
  • MicroRNAs