Exosomes are small extracellular vesicles 40-160 nm in diameter that are secreted by almost all cell types. Exosomes can carry diverse cargo including RNA, DNA, lipids, proteins, and metabolites. Exosomes transfer substances and information between cells by circulating in body fluids and are thus involved in diverse physiological and pathological processes in the human body. Recent studies have closely associated exosomal microRNAs (miRNAs) with various human diseases, including diabetes mellitus (DM), which is a complex multifactorial metabolic disorder disease. Exosomal miRNAs are emerging as pivotal regulators in the progression of DM, mainly in terms of pancreatic β-cell injury and insulin resistance. Exosomal miRNAs are closely associated with DM-associated complications, such as diabetic retinopathy (DR), diabetic nephropathy (DN), and diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM), etc. Further investigations of the mechanisms of action of exosomal miRNAs and their role in DM will be valuable for the thorough understanding of the physiopathological process of DM. Here, we have summarized recent findings regarding exosomal miRNAs associated with DM to provide a new strategy for identifying potential diagnostic biomarkers and drug targets for the early diagnosis and treatment, respectively, of DM.
© 2021 The Authors. Clinical and Translational Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Shanghai Institute of Clinical Bioinformatics.