Microvesicles and Tissue Regeneration

Intriguing research: microvesicles "are several times smaller than a normal cell and contain genetic information such as messenger ribonucleic acid (RNA), other species of RNA and protein. ... During times of cellular injury or stress, or with certain diseases like cancer, infections and cardiovascular disease, these particles are shed and then taken up by other cells in the body. The genetic information and protein in the microvesicles helps to reprogram the accepting cell to behave more like the cell from which the particle was derived. ... Our work suggests that when the lung is injured or diseased and cells within the lung are stressed or dying, they shed microvesicles. Those microvesicles are then consumed by cells within the bone marrow, including stem cells, which are present in small numbers within the circulatory system. Those bone marrow cells then turn into lung cells. ... microvesicles not only supply information to stem cells with lung injury, but this process also occurs in other organs as well, like the heart, liver and brain. ... the change in those stem cells that have consumed microvesicles made by injured lung cells is very stable - the change appears to be permanent. ... This would be relevant to any type of disease - if you want to repair damaged tissue, these microvesicles potentially provide a durable fix, and the hope is that it would be fixed forever."

Link: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-02/l-ohf022610.php

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