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Extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been identified as key messengers of intracellular communication in health and disease, including the lung. EVs that can be found in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) are released by multiple cells of the airways including bronchial epithelial cells, endothelial cells, alveolar macrophages, and other immune cells, and they have been shown to mediate proinflammatory signals in many inflammatory lung diseases. They transfer complex molecular cargo, including proteins, cytokines, lipids, and nucleic acids such as microRNA, between structural cells such as pulmonary epithelial cells and innate immune cells such as alveolar macrophages, shaping mutually their functions and affecting the alveolar microenvironment homeostasis. Here, we discuss this distinct molecular cargo of BALF-EVs in the context of inducing and propagating inflammatory responses in particular acute and chronic lung disorders. We present different identified cellular interactions in the inflammatory lung via EVs and their role in lung pathogenesis. We also summarize the latest studies on the potential use of BALF-EVs as diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers of lung diseases, especially of lung cancer.


Lukasz Zareba, Jacek Szymanski, Zuzanna Homoncik, Malgorzata Czystowska-Kuzmicz. EVs from BALF-Mediators of Inflammation and Potential Biomarkers in Lung Diseases. International journal of molecular sciences. 2021 Apr 01;22(7)

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PMID: 33915715

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