Unusual Characteristics of Certain Exosomes May Stem from Their Possible Ancient Evolutionary Origin Prior to Cells and Make Them Superior to Man-Made Nanoparticles for Therapeutic Purposes, Yale Professor Maintains

In a review article published online on January 31, 2021 in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Philip W. Askenase (photo), MD, Professor of Medicine and Pathology, Section of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, (and former 30-Year Chief of Allergy & Immunology at Yale School of Medicine), strongly suggests that some cell-produced exosome subsets have a number of special properties that may be related to their hypothesized long evolution, perhaps ultimately traceable to before the origin of cells themselves. He argues that these special, long-evolved properties make these exosomes superior to man-made nanoparticles for the therapeutic purposes that artificial nanoparticles are developed for today, but which have seen little success. The open-access article by Dr. Askenase is titled “Ancient Evolutionary Origin and Properties of Universally Produced Natural Exosomes Contribute to Their Therapeutic Superiority Compared to Artificial Nanoparticles,” Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22, 1429. (https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/22/3/1429).Dr. Askenase explains that exosomes are among a group of natural nano-sized extracellular vesicles (EVs) that are made by all cells of all species and are present in all bodily fluids so far examined. Exosomes are “newly recognized, fundamental, universally produced natural nanoparticles of life that are seemingly involved in all biologic processes and clinical diseases,” and are about a millionth the size of the donor cells they come from, he says. These tiny double-membrane-bounded EVs are present in the blood at concentrations of billions per milliliter, as they are contributed by virtually all the cells of the body, while leukocytes are present in the blood at concentrations of only thousands per milliliter.
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