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Extracellular Vesicles in the Oviduct: Progress, Challenges and Implications for the Reproductive Success

Genetics and Functional Genomics Group, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland
UMR85 PRC, INRA, CNRS 7247, Université de Tours, IFCE, 37380 Nouzilly, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Bioengineering 2019, 6(2), 32;
Received: 18 March 2019 / Revised: 4 April 2019 / Accepted: 10 April 2019 / Published: 12 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extracellular Vesicles: From Biology to Biomedical Applications)
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The oviduct is the anatomical part of the female reproductive tract where the early reproductive events take place, from gamete transport, fertilization and early embryo development to the delivery of a competent embryo to the uterus, which can implant and develop to term. The success of all these events rely upon a two-way dialogue between the oviduct (lining epithelium and secretions) and the gametes/embryo(s). Recently, extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been identified as major components of oviductal secretions and pointed to as mediators of the gamete/embryo-maternal interactions. EVs, comprising exosomes and microvesicles, have emerged as important agents of cell-to-cell communication by the transfer of biomolecules (i.e., mRNAs, miRNAs, proteins) that can modulate the activities of recipient cells. Here, we provide the current knowledge of EVs in the oviductal environment, from isolation to characterization, and a description of the EVs molecular content and associated functional aspects in different species. The potential role of oviductal EVs (oEVs) as modulators of gamete/embryo-oviduct interactions and their implications in the success of early reproductive events is addressed. Lastly, we discuss current challenges and future directions towards the potential application of oEVs as therapeutic vectors to improve pregnancy disorders, infertility problems and increase the success of assisted reproductive technologies. View Full-Text
Keywords: extracellular vesicles; exosomes; microvesicles; oviduct; gamete/embryo-oviduct interactions extracellular vesicles; exosomes; microvesicles; oviduct; gamete/embryo-oviduct interactions

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Almiñana, C.; Bauersachs, S. Extracellular Vesicles in the Oviduct: Progress, Challenges and Implications for the Reproductive Success. Bioengineering 2019, 6, 32.

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