IMR Press / FBS / Volume 8 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.2741/S448

Frontiers in Bioscience-Scholar (FBS) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 1 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.


Exosomes mediate embryo and maternal interactions at implantation and during pregnancy

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1 Medical Scholars Program, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, 61801
2 Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, 61801

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Front. Biosci. (Schol Ed) 2016, 8(1), 79–96;
Published: 1 January 2016

Shedding of exosomes and microvesicles is now a well-recognized, important method of cell-cell communication in a number of different cell types. However, their importance in the female reproductive tract and in mediating embryo-maternal interactions during pregnancy has only recently been recognized. Here we review the current literature as to release of extracellular vesicles by uterine cells, the embryo, and placental trophoblast cells; how release is regulated; and the different types of signaling molecules and genetic information contained within such vesicles. We also discuss the role of these exosomes and microvesicles in regulating critical processes during implantation and pregnancy such as angiogenesis, matrix remodeling, alterations in immune function and pathological effects in gestational diseases. A better understanding of the role of exosomes and microvesicles in reproduction may lead to the development of new therapeutic approaches for treatment of infertility and pregnancy complications.

Extracellular Vesicles
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