Extracellular vesicles (EVs) including microvesicles, apoptotic bodies and exosomes are regarded as a crucial form of intercellular communication. EVs are present in body fluids, may carry proteins, lipids, RNA, microRNA and DNA between cells. In addition to their widely studied physiological roles, EVs represent a promising and rapidly growing research field in inflammatory diseases, including rheumatologic conditions. Several lines of evidence support the role of synovial and blood EVs in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Platelet derived microvesicles may carry proinflammatory cytokines in the inflamed synovium in RA. Recent data also indicate the possible role of EVs in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. EVs may serve as biomarkers and may represent therapeutic targets in inflammatory conditions.
Disclosure of Interest None declared