Arteriosclerosis is an important age-dependent disease that encompasses atherosclerosis, in-stent restenosis (ISR), pulmonary hypertension, autologous bypass grafting and transplant arteriosclerosis. Endothelial dysfunction and the proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cell (vSMC)-like cells is a critical event in the pathology of arteriosclerotic disease leading to intimal-medial thickening (IMT), lipid retention and vessel remodelling. An important aspect in guiding clinical decision-making is the detection of biomarkers of subclinical arteriosclerosis and early cardiovascular risk. Crucially, relevant biomarkers need to be good indicators of injury which change in their circulating concentrations or structure, signalling functional disturbances. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are nanosized membraneous vesicles secreted by cells that contain numerous bioactive molecules and act as a means of intercellular communication between different cell populations to maintain tissue homeostasis, gene regulation in recipient cells and the adaptive response to stress. This review will focus on the emerging field of EV research in cardiovascular disease (CVD) and discuss how key EV signatures in liquid biopsies may act as early pathological indicators of adaptive lesion formation and arteriosclerotic disease progression. EV profiling has the potential to provide important clinical information to complement current cardiovascular diagnostic platforms that indicate or predict myocardial injury. Finally, the development of fitting devices to enable rapid and/or high-throughput exosomal analysis that require adapted processing procedures will be evaluated.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was funded through the Eastern Corridor Medical Engineering Centre (ECME) Project, Number 88, eMS Ref No: 5034 by the European Union's INTERREG VA Programme and managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).
Copyright © 2022 Burtenshaw, Regan, Owen, Collins, McEneaney, Megson, Redmond and Cahill.
- exosome (vesicle)
- stem cell repair mechanisms
- endothelial (dys)function
- point of care diagnosis
- Cell and Developmental Biology