Exosomes in intercellular communication and implications for osteoarthritis

Sabha Asghar, Gary J. Litherland, John C. Lockhart, Carl S. Goodyear, Anne Crilly*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most prevalent of the musculoskeletal conditions and represents a significant public health burden. While degeneration of articular cartilage is a key feature, it is now increasingly recognized as a complex condition affecting the whole joint, with synovial inflammation present in a significant proportion of patients. As a secretory tissue, the OA synovium is a rich source of both soluble inflammatory mediators and extracellular vesicles, including exosomes, which have been implicated in cell-cell communication. Exosome cargo has been found to include proteins, lipids and various RNA subtypes such as mRNA and miRNA, potentially capable of regulating gene expression in target cells and tissues. Profiling of exosome cargo and understanding effects on cartilage could elucidate novel regulatory mechanisms within the joint, providing insight for targeted treatment. The aim of this article is to review current literature on exosome biology, highlighting the relevance and application for OA pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-68
Number of pages12
Issue number1
Early online date18 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Osteoarthritis (OA)
  • Exosomes
  • Inflammation
  • Cartilage
  • Synovium
  • Synovitis
  • Microvesicles
  • mRNA
  • microRNA


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