Diabetes complications and extracellular vesicle therapy

Rev Endocr Metab Disord. 2022 Jun;23(3):357-385. doi: 10.1007/s11154-021-09680-y. Epub 2021 Oct 14.


Diabetes is a chronic disorder characterized by dysregulated glycemic conditions. Diabetic complications include microvascular and macrovascular abnormalities and account for high morbidity and mortality rates in patients. Current clinical approaches for diabetic complications are limited to symptomatic treatments and tight control of blood sugar levels. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) released by somatic and stem cells have recently emerged as a new class of potent cell-free therapeutic delivery packets with a great potential to treat diabetic complications. EVs contain a mixture of bioactive molecules and can affect underlying pathological processes in favor of tissue healing. In addition, EVs have low immunogenicity and high storage capacity while maintaining nearly the same regenerative and immunomodulatory effects compared to current cell-based therapies. Therefore, EVs have received increasing attention for diabetes-related complications in recent years. In this review, we provide an outlook on diabetic complications and summarizes new knowledge and advances in EV applications. Moreover, we highlight recommendations for future EV-related research.

Keywords: Diabetes; Diabetic complications; Exosomes; Extracellular vesicle; Pathophysiology; Therapy.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose
  • Diabetes Complications* / therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus* / therapy
  • Extracellular Vesicles*
  • Humans
  • Wound Healing


  • Blood Glucose