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    Asthma is a chronic, recurrent and incurable allergy-related respiratory disease characterized by inflammation, bronchial hyperresponsiveness and narrowing of the airways. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are a universal feature of cellular function and can be detected in different bodily fluids. Recent evidence has shown the possibility of using EVs in understanding the pathogenesis of asthma, including their potential as diagnostic and therapeutic tools. Studies have reported that EVs released from key cells involved in asthma can induce priming and activation of other asthma-associated cells. A literature review was conducted on all current research regarding the role and function of EVs in the pathogenesis of asthma via the PRISMA statement method. An electronic search was performed using EMBASE and PubMed through to November 2018. The EMBASE search returned 76 papers, while the PubMed search returned 211 papers. Following duplicate removal, titles and abstracts were screened for eligibility with a total of 34 studies included in the final qualitative analysis. The review found evidence of association between the presence of EVs and physiological changes characteristic of asthma, suggesting that EVs are involved in the pathogenesis, with the weight of evidence presently favouring deleterious effects of EVs in asthma. Numerous studies highlighted differences in exosomal contents between EVs of healthy and asthmatic individuals, which could be employed as potential diagnostic markers. In some circumstances, EVs were also found to be suppressive to disease, but more often promote inflammation and airway remodelling. In conclusion, EVs hold immense potential in understanding the pathophysiology of asthma, and as diagnostic and therapeutic markers. While more research is needed for definitive conclusions and their application in medical practice, the literature presented in this review should encourage further research and discovery within the field of EVs and asthma. © 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


    Phoomphut Sangaphunchai, Ian Todd, Lucy C Fairclough. Extracellular vesicles and asthma: A review of the literature. Clinical and experimental allergy : journal of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2020 Mar;50(3):291-307

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    PMID: 31925972

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