Extracellular vesicles in renal inflammatory and infectious diseases

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Extracellular vesicles can mediate cell-to-cell communication, or relieve the parent cell of harmful substances, in order to maintain cellular integrity. The content of extracellular vesicles includes miRNAs, mRNAs, growth factors, complement factors, cytokines, chemokines and receptors. These may contribute to inflammatory and infectious diseases by the exposure or transfer of potent effectors that induce vascular inflammation by leukocyte recruitment and thrombosis. Furthermore, vesicles release cytokines and induce their release from cells. Extracellular vesicles possess immune modulatory and anti-microbial properties, and induce receptor signaling in the recipient cell, not least by the transfer of pro-inflammatory receptors. Additionally, the vesicles may carry virulence factors systemically. Extracellular vesicles in blood and urine can contribute to the development of kidney diseases or exhibit protective effects. In this review we will describe the role of EVs in inflammation, thrombosis, immune modulation, angiogenesis, oxidative stress, renal tubular regeneration and infection. Furthermore, we will delineate their contribution to renal ischemia/reperfusion, vasculitis, glomerulonephritis, lupus nephritis, thrombotic microangiopathies, IgA nephropathy, acute kidney injury, urinary tract infections and renal transplantation. Due to their content of miRNAs and growth factors, or when loaded with nephroprotective modulators, extracellular vesicles have the potential to be used as therapeutics for renal regeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-54
Number of pages13
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Aug 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Urology and Nephrology
  • Cell and Molecular Biology


  • Extracellular vesicles
  • Inflammation
  • Kidney
  • Shiga toxin, Complement
  • Thrombosis
  • Vasculitis


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