Reproduction, the ability to generate offspring, represents one of the most important biological processes, being essential for the conservation of the species. In mammals, it involves different cell types, tissues and organs, which, by several signaling molecules, coordinate the different events such as gametogenesis, fertilization and embryo development. In the last few years, the role of Extracellular Vesicles, as mediators of cell communication, has been investigated in every phase of these complex processes. Microvesicles and exosomes, identified in the fluid of ovarian follicles during egg maturation, are involved in communication between the developing oocyte and the somatic follicular cells. More recently, it has been demonstrated that, during implantation, Extracellular Vesicles could participate in the complex dialog between the embryo and maternal tissues. In this review, we will focus our attention on extracellular vesicles and their cargo in human female reproduction, mainly underlining the involvement of microRNAs in intercellular communication during the several phases of the reproductive process.
- Extracellular vesicles
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry