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Papers of the Week

2019 Nov

Expert Opin Ther Targets



Microvesicles as new therapeutic targets for the treatment of the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).


Soni S, Tirlapur N, O'Dea KP, Takata M, Wilson MR
Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2019 Nov; 23(11):931-941.
PMID: 31724440.


Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a heterogeneous and multifactorial disease; it is a common and devastating condition that has a high mortality. Treatment is limited to supportive measures hence novel pharmacological approaches are necessary. We propose a new direction in ARDS research; this means moving away from thinking about individual inflammatory mediators and instead investigating how packaged information is transmitted between cells. Microvesicles (MVs) represent a novel vehicle for inter-cellular communication with an emerging role in ARDS pathophysiology.Areas covered:This review examines current approaches to ARDS and emerging MV research. We describe advances in our understanding of microvesicles and focus on their pro-inflammatory roles in airway and endothelial signalling. We also offer reasons for why MVs are attractive therapeutic targets.Expert opinion:MVs have a key role in ARDS pathophysiology. Preclinical studies must move away from simple models towards more realistic scenarios while clinical studies must embrace patient heterogeneity. Microvesicles have the potential to aid identification of patients who may benefit from particular treatments and act as biomarkers of cellular status and disease progression. Understanding microvesicle cargoes and their cellular interactions will undoubtedly uncover new targets for ARDS.