Exosomes are extracellular vesicles (EV) of endosomal origin (multivesicular bodies, MVB) constitutively released by many different eukaryotic cells by fusion of MVB to the plasma membrane. However, inducible exosome secretion controlled by cell surface receptors is restricted to very few cell types and a limited number of cell surface receptors. Among these, exosome secretion is induced in T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes when stimulated at the immune synapse (IS) via T-cell receptors (TCR) and B-cell receptors (BCR), respectively. IS formation by T and B lymphocytes constitutes a crucial event involved in antigen-specific, cellular, and humoral immune responses. Upon IS formation by T and B lymphocytes with antigen-presenting cells (APC), the convergence of MVB towards the microtubule organization center (MTOC), and MTOC polarization to the IS, are involved in polarized exosome secretion at the synaptic cleft. This specialized mechanism provides the immune system with a finely-tuned strategy to increase the specificity and efficiency of crucial secretory effector functions of B and T lymphocytes. As inducible exosome secretion by antigen-receptors is a critical and unique feature of the immune system this review considers the study of the traffic events leading to polarized exosome secretion at the IS and some of their biological consequences.
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