Exosomes and exosomal non‑coding RNAs throughout human gestation (Review)
- Ioanna Maligianni
- Christos Yapijakis
- Konstantina Nousia
- Flora Bacopoulou
- George P. Chrousos
Affiliations: First Department of Pediatrics, Unit of Orofacial Genetics, ‘Aghia Sophia’ Children's Hospital, School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 11527 Athens, Greece, University Research Institute of Maternal and Child Health and Precision Medicine, and UNESCO Chair on Adolescent Health Care, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 11527 Athens, Greece
- Published online on: July 19, 2022 https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2022.11518
Copyright: © Maligianni
et al. This is an open access article distributed under the
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In recent years, research on exosomes and their content has been intensive, which has revealed their important role in cell‑to‑cell communication, and has implicated exosomal biomolecules in a broad spectrum of physiological processes, as well as in the pathogenesis of various diseases. Pregnancy and its normal progression rely highly on the efficient communication between the mother and the fetus, mainly mediated by the placenta. Recent studies have established the placenta as an important source of circulating exosomes and have demonstrated that exosome release into the maternal circulation gradually increases during pregnancy, starting from six weeks of gestation. This orchestrates maternal‑fetal crosstalk, including maternal immune tolerance and pregnancy‑associated metabolic adaptations. Furthermore, an increased number of secreted exosomes, along with altered patterns of exosomal non‑coding RNAs (ncRNAs), especially microRNAs and long non‑coding RNAs (lncRNAs), have been observed in a number of pregnancy complications, such as gestational diabetes mellitus and preeclampsia. The early detection of exosomes and specific exosomal ncRNAs in various biological fluids during pregnancy highlights them as promising candidate biomarkers for the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of numerous pregnancy disorders in adolescents and adults. The present review aimed to provide insight into the current knowledge regarding the potential, only partially elucidated, role of exosomes and exosomal cargo in the regulation and progression of normal pregnancy, as well as their potential dysregulation and contribution to pathological pregnancy situations.