8_03/2012Cellular Responses to Nanomaterials: Exosomes as Extrapulmonary Signaling Conveyors for Nanoparticle-Induced Systemic Immune Activation (Small 3/2012)

The cover illustrates how the “Trojan Horses” known as exosomes are the conveyors in the signaling transduction of nanoparticle-induced systemic immune activation. With the accelerating development and use of nanomaterials in industry and commercial products, the potential risks of manufactured nanoparticles to human health has become concerning. Here, respiratory exposure to manufactured magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles is shown to generate a significant number of exosomes in the lungs of mice. Exosomes are extracellularly secreted membrane vesicles for materials transportation and intercellular communication. In this case, these nanoparticle-induced exosomes are quickly eliminated from the alveolar region, transferring immune activation signals to the immune system. In those individuals who already have pre-existing allergic conditions (known as sensitized individuals), the exosomes can result in a delayed type of hypersensitivity reaction and promote severe allergic responses, whereas in unsensitized individuals, the resulting immune activation response is much lower. For more information, please read the Full Paper “Exosomes as Extrapulmonary Signaling Conveyors for Nanoparticle-Induced Systemic Immune Activation” by G. Nie, Y. Zhao, and co-workers, beginning on page 404.

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