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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(7), 1043;

Clinical Application of Human Urinary Extracellular Vesicles in Kidney and Urologic Diseases

C.A.R.S.O. Consortium, University of Bari, Valenzano 70010, Italy
Schena Foundation—European Research Center for Kidney Diseases, Valenzano 70010, Italy
Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation, University of Bari, DETO, Bari 70124, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gregor Drummen
Received: 31 March 2016 / Revised: 16 June 2016 / Accepted: 22 June 2016 / Published: 30 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Focus on Extracellular Vesicles)
Full-Text   |   PDF [233 KB, uploaded 30 June 2016]


Extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been isolated in different body fluids, including urine. The cargo of urinary EVs is composed of nucleic acids and proteins reflecting the physiological and possibly pathophysiological state of cells lining the nephron and the urinary tract. Urinary EVs have been confirmed to contain low amounts of various types of RNA that play a role in intercellular communication by transferring genetic information. This communication through EV RNAs includes both continuation of normal physiological processes and conditioning in disease mechanisms. Although proteins included in urinary EVs represent only 3% of the whole-urine proteome, urinary EVs can influence cells in the renal epithelia not only by delivering RNA cargo, but also by delivering a wide range of proteins. Since urine is a readily available biofluid, the discovery of EVs has opened a new field of biomarker research. The potential use of urinary EV RNAs and proteins as diagnostic biomarkers for various kidney and urologic diseases is currently being explored. Here, we review recent studies that deal in identifying biomarker candidates for human kidney and urologic diseases using urinary EVs and might help to understand the pathophysiology. View Full-Text
Keywords: extracellular vesicles; urine; kidney diseases extracellular vesicles; urine; kidney diseases
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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De Palma, G.; Sallustio, F.; Schena, F.P. Clinical Application of Human Urinary Extracellular Vesicles in Kidney and Urologic Diseases. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 1043.

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