Liver-derived Extracellular Vesicles (EVs)
In hepatic tissue, hepatocytes and other liver cells incessantly secrete Extracellular Vesicles (EVs), which are nanoscale lipid bilayer-encapsulated particles. These EVs are molecularly rich, laden with bioactive material (-omics) that reflect the metabolic and pathological state of their cells of origin. A subset of these EVs migrates through the extracellular matrix—a complex scaffold of proteins and glycoproteins—ultimately entering systemic circulation. This translocation facilitates the dissemination of critical biological information, mediating intercellular, tissue-level, and systemic communication networks.
A blood draw contains billions of EVs, with the vast majority deriving from hematopoietic cell lines. However, within this multitude, a smaller yet diagnostically significant contingent originates from the liver. These hepatic EVs carry distinctive molecular patterns that can provide valuable insights into the physiological or pathological processes occurring within the liver, highlighting their potential as minimally invasive biomarkers for liver function and disease. This biology is also applicable for any other cell type and/or organ.