Classification, Functions, and Clinical Relevance of Extracellular Vesicles

  title={Classification, Functions, and Clinical Relevance of Extracellular Vesicles},
  author={Edwin van der Pol and Anita N. B{\"o}ing and Paul Harrison and Augueste Sturk and Rienk Nieuwland},
  journal={Pharmacological Reviews},
  pages={676 - 705}
Both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells release small, phospholipid-enclosed vesicles into their environment. Why do cells release vesicles? Initial studies showed that eukaryotic vesicles are used to remove obsolete cellular molecules. Although this release of vesicles is beneficial to the cell, the vesicles can also be a danger to their environment, for instance in blood, where vesicles can provide a surface supporting coagulation. Evidence is accumulating that vesicles are cargo containers… 

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