Exosome-based immunomodulation during aging: A nano-perspective on inflamm-aging

Francesco Prattichizzo, Luigina Micolucci, Monica Cricca, Sabrina De Carolis, Emanuela Mensà, Antonio Ceriello, Antonio Domenico Procopio, Massimiliano Bonafè, Fabiola Olivieri

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Exosomes are nanovesicles formed by inward budding of endosomal membranes. They exert complex immunomodulatory effects on target cells, acting both as antigen-presenting vesicles and as shuttles for packets of information such as proteins, coding and non-coding RNA, and nuclear and mitochondrial DNA fragments. Albeit different, all such functions seem to be encompassed in the adaptive mechanism mediating the complex interactions of the organism with a variety of stressors, providing both for defense and for the evolution of symbiotic relationships with others organisms (gut microbiota, bacteria, and viruses). Intriguingly, the newly deciphered human virome and exosome biogenesis seem to share some physical–chemical characteristics and molecular mechanisms. Exosomes are involved in immune system recognition of self from non-self throughout life: they are therefore ideal candidate to modulate inflamm-aging, the chronic, systemic, age-related pro-inflammatory status, which influence the development/progression of the most common age-related diseases (ARDs). Not surprisingly, recent evidence has documented exosomal alteration during aging and in association with ARDs, even though data in this field are still limited. Here, we review current knowledge on exosome-based trafficking between immune cells and self/non-self cells (i.e. the virome), sketching a nano-perspective on inflamm-aging and on the mechanisms involved in health maintenance throughout life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-53
Number of pages10
JournalMechanisms of Ageing and Development
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Developmental Biology


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