Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Extracellular Vesicles and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): A Systematic Review

Gomez, Nancy; James, Victoria; Onion, David; Fairclough, Lucy

Extracellular Vesicles and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): A Systematic Review Thumbnail


Nancy Gomez

Advanced Technical Specialist (Flow Cytometry)


Background: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a common inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by irreversible airflow limitation, ranking the third highest cause of death worldwide. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are important intercellular communication mediators released by cells into their extracellular environment with the capacity to transfer biological signals. EVs involved in COPD hold great potential to understand disease pathogenesis and identify important biomarkers. This systematic review aims to examine all available research on EVs in the pathogenesis and diagnosis of COPD to identify existing knowledge and support further research within the field.

Methods: Publications were searched using PubMed and EMBASE with the search terms (Exosomes or extracellular vesicles or microvesicles or microparticles or ectosomes) AND (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD or emphysema or bronchitis).

Results: Initial search yielded 358 papers of which 94 were manually selected for review and 27 were eligible for analyses. The studies were divided into groups according to the role of EVs in pathogenesis, EV origin and cargo, their role in COPD exacerbations and their diagnostic utility. EVs were found to be involved in the mechanism of pathogenesis of COPD, derived from various cell types, as well as containing modified levels of miRNAs. EVs also varied according to the pathophysiological status of disease, therefore presenting a possible method for COPD diagnosis and progress monitoring.

Conclusion: The current findings show the limited but good quality research looking at the role of EVs in COPD, demonstrating the need for more studies to better define and provide further insight into the functional characteristics of EV in COPD pathogenesis.

Deposit Date Sep 5, 2022
Publicly Available Date Sep 6, 2022
Public URL
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations