FASEB BioAdvances (Jun 2021)

Adipocyte‐derived extracellular vesicles in health and diseases: Nano‐packages with vast biological properties

  • Soazig Le Lay,
  • Sophie Rome,
  • Xavier Loyer,
  • Laurence Nieto

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 3, no. 6
pp. 407 – 419


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Abstract As the largest human energy reservoir, adipocytes drive an intense dialog with other cells/organs throughout the body to regulate the size of adipose tissue and to communicate with other metabolic tissues and the brain to regulate energy supply. Adipokines have long been described as mediators of this crosstalk, participating in obesity‐associated complications. Recently, adipocyte‐derived extracellular vesicles (Ad‐EVs) have emerged as new key actors in this communication due to their powerful capacity to convey complex messages between cells. Ad‐EVs convey specific subpopulations of RNA, proteins, and lipids from their parental cells, and can transfer these cargoes into various recipient cells, modulating their metabolism and cell cycle. In healthy individuals, Ad‐EVs actively participate in adipose tissue remodeling to compensate energy supply variations by exchanging information between adipocytes or stroma‐vascular cells, including immune cells. Besides this, recent evidence points out that Ad‐EV secretion and composition from dysfunctional adipocytes are strongly impacted within adipose tissue where they modulate local intercellular communication, contributing to inflammation, fibrosis, abnormal angiogenesis, and at distance with other cells/tissues intrinsically linked to fat (muscle, hepatocytes and even cancer cells). Additionally, some data even suggests that Ad‐EVs might have a systemic action. In this review, we will describe the particular properties of Ad‐EVs and their involvement in health and diseases, with a particular focus on metabolic and cardiovascular diseases as well as cancer.