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Keywords:

  • Cardiomyocyte;
  • Exosome;
  • Intercellular communication;
  • Systems biology

The exosome is a secreted microvesicle that has been shown to contain genetic material and proteins and is involved in multiple levels of cellular communication. The cardiovascular exosome proteome is a promising subproteome that warrants investigation since a detailed understanding of its role in the heart should improve our comprehension of intercellular communication in the heart, and may even assist in biomarker discovery. Indeed, uncovering the role of the exosome in cardiovascular physiology could be accomplished with the application of scientific approaches and insights gained from studies of exosomes in other fields, such as cancer biology and immunology, where much of the established knowledge of the exosome has been generated. In the present review, we discuss the relevant literature and examine areas of investigation that would bring the cardiovascular exosome to the forefront of intercellular communication in the heart.