The Role of Extracellular Vesicles in Liver Pathogenesis

Am J Pathol. 2022 Jun 22;S0002-9440(22)00179-1. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2022.06.007. Online ahead of print.


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are generated by cells in the form of exosomes, microvesicles, and apoptotic bodies. They can be taken by neighboring cells, and their contents can have functional impact on cells that engulf them. As the mediators of intercellular communication, EVs can play important roles in both physiological and pathologic contexts. In addition, early detection of EVs in different body fluids may offer a sensitive diagnostic tool for certain diseases, such as cancer. Furthermore, targeting specific EVs may also become a promising therapeutic approach. This review summarizes the latest findings of EVs in the field of liver research, with a focus on the different contents of the EVs and their impact on liver function and on the development of inflammation, fibrosis, and tumor in the liver. The goal is to provide a succinct account of the various molecules that can mediate the function of EVs so the readers may apply this knowledge to their own research.

Publication types

  • Review