Exosomes in Systemic Sclerosis: Messengers Between Immune, Vascular and Fibrotic Components?

Marta Colletti, Angela Galardi, Maria De Santis, Giacomo Maria Guidelli, Angela Di Giannatale, Luigi Di Luigi, Cristina Antinozzi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


: Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a rare autoimmune disease, characterized by vasculopathy and fibrosis of the skin and internal organs. This disease is still considered incurable and is associated with a high risk of mortality, which is related to fibrotic events. An early diagnosis is useful for preventing complications, and targeted therapies reduce disease progression and ameliorate patients' quality of life. Nevertheless, there are no validated biomarkers for early diagnosis with predictive prognostic value. Exosomes are membrane vesicles, transporting proteins and nucleic acids that may be delivered to target cells, which influences cellular behavior. They play important roles in cell-cell communication, both in physiological and pathological conditions, and may be useful as circulating biomarkers. Recent evidences suggest a role for these microvesicles in the three main aspects related to the pathogenesis of SSc (immunity, vascular damage, and fibrosis). Moreover, exosomes are of particular interest in the field of nano-delivery and are used as biological carriers. In this review, we report the latest information concerning SSc pathogenesis, clinical aspects of SSc, and current approaches to the treatment of SSc. Furthermore, we indicate a possible role of exosomes in SSc pathogenesis and suggest their potential use as diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers, as well as therapeutic tools.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - Sep 4 2019


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