For several years, a growing number of studies have highlighted the pivotal role of placental extracellular vesicles (EVs) throughout pregnancy. These membrane nanovesicles, heterogeneous in nature, composition and origin, are secreted by several trophoblastic cell types and are found in both the maternal and fetal compartments. They can be uptaken by recipient cells and drive a wide variety of physiological and pathological processes. In this review, we provide an overview of the different described roles of placental EVs in various aspects of normal pregnancy, from placenta establishment to maternal immune tolerance towards the fetus and protection against viral infections. In the second part, we present selected examples of pathological pregnancies in which placental EVs are involved, such as gestational diabetes mellitus, pre-eclampsia, and congenital infections. Since the abundance and/or composition of placental EVs is deregulated in maternal serum during pathological pregnancies, this makes them interesting candidates as non-invasive biomarkers for gestational diseases and opens a wide field of translational perspectives.
Placental extracellular vesicles in maternal-fetal communication during pregnancy
Charlène Martin, Mathilde Bergamelli, Cécile E. Malnou, Gisela D'Angelo; Placental extracellular vesicles in maternal-fetal communication during pregnancy. Biochem Soc Trans 16 December 2022; 50 (6): 1785–1795. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/BST20220734
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