Extracellular Vesicles and Coagulation

Extracellular Vesicles and Coagulation

Coagulation is an important process that makes the blood cloth. It stops the damaged blood vessel from bleeding but is also involved in clothing the blood vessels providing blood to the heart or brain leading to a heart attack or stroke.

Coagulation can be activated in several ways but Tissue Factor is a very important activator of blood clothing.

Recently it was found that the blood contains Tissue Factor and that this Tissue Factor is found in blood extracellular vesicles that, among others, originate from monocytes. This identifies extracellular vesicles as an important determinant in blood coagulation in physiological but also pathological processes.

Extracellular Vesicles and Therapy

Since plasma extracellular vesicles contain protein and RNA that originates from the cell of origin, these vesicles probably contain information of the status of the cell of origin.

It is now established that plasma vesicle number, species but also content contains information that can be used in diagnosis and prognosis of disease.

Extracellular Vesicles as “Garbage Collectors” or Communicators

Plasma extracellular vesicles were considered as the “garbage bags” or communicators of the cells released in the plasma for removal.

This view has recently changed dramatically.Extracellular vesicles contain proteins and RNA (miRNA) and it is established that they are actively involved in the communication between cells and tissues in biological processes as inflammation, coagulation and tissue repair.

Extracellular Vesicles as Biomarker Source

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are known for their beneficial effects to repair damaged tissue. It is now clear that these MSCs secrete extracellular vesicles that have therapeutic potential that can be used as an “off the shelf” therapy in contrast to cell therapy.

Examples of applications investigated are: myocardial ischemia reperfusion injury, heart failure, skin wound healing and graft vs host disease.