Telocytes, exosomes, gap junctions and the cytoskeleton: the makings of a primitive nervous system?

  title={Telocytes, exosomes, gap junctions and the cytoskeleton: the makings of a primitive nervous system?},
  author={John Smythies and Lawrence Edelstein},
  journal={Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience},
THE FACTS Telocytes (TCs) form a remarkable new cell species found in many types of tissue. They were discovered by Professor Laurentiu-Mircea Popescu of Roumania in 2005 (Popescu et al., 2005), and are characterized by having very small cell bodies (consisting of a nucleus and a small amount of cytoplasm) and “extremely long and thin” tubular processes called telopodes (up to 100 micrometers long, yet only 20–200 nanometers wide). Telopodes consist of long thin tubes (called podomers… 
Telocytes revisited
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The existence of telocytes (TCs) has not yet been established in the pancreases of aquatic reptiles. Here, we report TCs in the exocrine pancreas of Pelodiscus sinensis using transmission electron
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It is proposed that T/Cs are capable of forming an extensive intercellular information transmission and executive system that may utilize electric currents, small molecules, exosomes and possibly electrical events within the cytoskeleton—to modulate homeostasis, stem cell activity, tissue repair, peristalsis, anticancer activity, and other complex functions in many organs.
Roles and distribution of telocytes in tissue organization in health and disease
Telocytes transfer extracellular vesicles loaded with microRNAs to stem cells
Evidence is provided that TCs can modulate SC through EVs loaded with microRNAs, and that CSCs deliver microRNA loaded EVs to TCs, suggesting that there is a continuous, post‐transcriptional regulatory signal back and forth between TCs and SC.
Identification and characterization of telocytes in rat testis
These cells interact with peritubular myoid cells, seminiferous tubules, Leydig cells and blood vessels via long telopode extensions, which suggests their vital role in the intercellular communication between different cell types within the rat testis.
Telocytes: facts, speculations and myths (Review article).
This review summarizes particular features of TCs in different organs and systems, emphasizing their involvement in physiological and pathophysiological processes.
Extracellular Microvesicles (ExMVs) in Cell to Cell Communication: A Role of Telocytes.
This chapter presents an emerging link between ExMVs and recently identified novel cell-cell communication network involving a new type of cell known as telocyte, andMounting evidence accumulates that telocytes mediate several of their biological effects in several organs by releasing ExMV enriched in mRNA, miRNA, proteins, and several biological mediators to the target cells.
Intercellular Communication by Extracellular Vesicles with Emphasis on the Roles of Cordocytes in the Human Brain. An Ultrastructural Study
This first study showed clearly that EVs can be important modulators of cell functions with roles in cell activation, differentiation, phenotypic change, cancer progression, from precursor/stem cells to tumoral phenotypes, because EVs are released en masse during key interactions and certain moments.


Human myometrium – the ultrastructural 3D network of telocytes
The presence of extracellular vesicles (shedding vesicle/exosomes) along the Tps suggests an active intercellular signalling (micro‐ and macromolecules), with possible significance in regulating uterine contractility.
Telocytes and putative stem cells in the lungs: electron microscopy, electron tomography and laser scanning microscopy
The presence of TCs in lungs is shown and a TC-SC tandem in subepithelial niches of the bronchiolar tree is identified, which may be based on nanocontacts and shed vesicles.
Telocytes, a distinct type of cell among the stromal cells present in the lamina propria of jejunum.
Direct electron microscopical evidence is shown for the presence of TCs in the lamina propria of rat jejunum just beneath the epithelial layer of the mucosal crypts and in between the smooth muscle cells (SMCs) of muscularis mucosae.
Cardiac telocytes — their junctions and functional implications
Telocytes (TCs) form a cardiac network of interstitial cells. Our previous studies have shown that TCs are involved in heterocellular contacts with cardiomyocytes and cardiac stem/progenitor cells.
Telocytes in human skin – are they involved in skin regeneration?
Based on TC distribution and intercellular connections, the results suggested that TCs might be involved in skin homeostasis, skin remodelling, skin regeneration and skin repair.
Telocytes: ultrastructural, immunohistochemical and electrophysiological characteristics in human myometrium
The presence of TCs as a distinct cell type in human non-pregnant and pregnant myometrium is shown and morphometric differences between the two physiological states are described.
Genetic comparison of mouse lung telocytes with mesenchymal stem cells and fibroblasts
Gene expression profile of murine lung TCs demonstrates that TCs are functionally distinct interstitial cells with specific roles in cell signalling, tissue remodelling and angiogenesis.
Telocytes in human oesophagus
The existence of typical TCs at the level of oesophagus (mucosa, sub mucosa and muscular layer) is shown and their possible role in tissue repair is suggested.
Telocytes in the urinary system
Investigating the ultrastructure, distribution and interactions of telocyte with surrounding cells in the urinary system of rats confirmed the existence of telocytes in kidneys, ureter and urinary bladder.