Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are widely recognized as the leading cause of mortality worldwide. Despite the advances in clinical management over the past decades, the underlying pathological mechanisms remain largely unknown. Exosomes have drawn the attention of researchers for their relevance in intercellular communication
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Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are widely recognized as the leading cause of mortality worldwide. Despite the advances in clinical management over the past decades, the underlying pathological mechanisms remain largely unknown. Exosomes have drawn the attention of researchers for their relevance in intercellular communication under both physiological and pathological conditions. These vesicles are suggested as complementary prospective biomarkers of CVDs; however, the role of exosomes in CVDs is still not fully elucidated. Here, we performed a literature search on exosomal biogenesis, characteristics, and functions, as well as the different available exosomal isolation techniques. Moreover, aiming to give new insights into the interaction between exosomes and CVDs, network analysis on the role of exosome-derived mediators in coronary artery disease (CAD) and heart failure (HF) was also performed to incorporate the different sources of information. The upregulated exosomal miRNAs miR-133a, miR-208a, miR-1, miR-499-5p, and miR-30a were described for the early diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction, while the exosome-derived miR-192, miR-194, miR-146a, and miR-92b-5p were considered as potential biomarkers for HF development. In CAD patients, upregulated exosomal proteins, including fibrinogen beta/gamma chain, inter-alpha-trypsin inhibitor heavy chain, and alpha-1 antichymotrypsin, were assessed as putative protein biomarkers. From downregulated proteins in CAD patients, albumin, clusterin, and vitamin D-binding protein were considered relevant to assess prognosis. The Vesiclepedia database included miR-133a of exosomal origin upregulated in patients with CAD and the exosomal miR-192, miR-194, and miR-146a upregulated in patients with HF. Additionally, Vesiclepedia included 5 upregulated and 13 downregulated exosomal proteins in patients in CAD. The non-included miRNAs and proteins have not yet been identified in exosomes and can be proposed for further research. This report highlights the need for further studies focusing on the identification and validation of miRNAs and proteins of exosomal origin as biomarkers of CAD and HF, which will enable, using exosomal biomarkers, the guiding of diagnosis/prognosis in CVDs.