In a study, researchers determined that over the last decade, there has been a significant interest in explaining the biological significance of extracellular vesicles (EVs), notably their hormone-like role in cell-to-cell communication. Endocrinology was well-positioned to give insight into the roles of EVs, which are released into bodily fluids by all cells and carry endocrine signals to participate in paracellular and distal interactions. 

EVs are a diverse group of membrane-bound vesicles with varied sizes, contents, and bioactivity. EVs are carefully bundled with signaling molecules, including lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids, before releasing into biofluid compartments. Translational activity, metabolism, growth, and development are regulated by EVs in proximal and distal target cells. 

Furthermore, because EV content is cell-type specific, it serves as a “fingerprint” of the releasing cell and its metabolic condition. Changes in the EV profile and bioactivity have recently been documented in numerous endocrine-related disorders such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. For a study, investigators sought to emphasize important components of EV research and their potential relevance in endocrinology.