The complex role of extracellular vesicles in HIV infection

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During normal physiological and abnormal pathophysiological conditions, all cells release membrane vesicles, termed extracellular vesicles (EVs). Growing evidence has revealed that EVs act as important messengers in intercellular communication. EVs play emerging roles in cellular responses and the modulation of immune responses during virus infection. EVs contribute to triggering antiviral responses to restrict virus infection and replication. Conversely, the role of EVs in the facilitation of virus spread and pathogenesis has been widely documented. Depending on the cell of origin, EVs carry effector functions from one cell to the other by horizontal transfer of their bioactive cargoes, including DNA, RNA, proteins, lipids, and metabolites. The diverse constituents of EVs can reflect the altered states of cells or tissues during virus infection, thereby offering a diagnostic readout. The exchanges of cellular and/or viral components by EVs can inform the therapeutic potential of EVs for infectious diseases. This review discusses recent advances of EVs to explore the complex roles of EVs during virus infection and their therapeutic potential, focusing on HIV-1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-340
Number of pages6
JournalBMB Reports
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2023


  • Extracellular vesicles
  • Functions
  • HIV-1
  • Therapeutics
  • Virus infection


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