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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 693157, 10 pages
Review Article

The Possible Role of Extravillous Trophoblast-Derived Exosomes on the Uterine Spiral Arterial Remodeling under Both Normal and Pathological Conditions

UQ Centre for Clinical Research, Centre for Clinical Diagnostics, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Herston, Brisbane, QLD 4029, Australia

Received 27 March 2014; Revised 28 May 2014; Accepted 1 July 2014; Published 14 September 2014

Academic Editor: Luis Sobrevia

Copyright © 2014 Carlos Salomon et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A tenet of contemporary obstetrics is that events that compromise placentation increase the risk of complications of pregnancy and contribute to poor pregnancy outcome. In particular, conditions that affect the invasion of placental cells and remodeling of uterine spiral arteries compromise placental function and the subsequent development of the fetus. Extravillous trophoblast cells (EVTs) proliferate and migrate from the cytotrophoblast in the anchoring villi of the placenta and invade the maternal decidua and myometrium. These cells are localised with uterine uterine spiral arteries and are thought to induce vascular remodeling. A newly identified pathway by which EVTs may regulate vascular remodeling within the uterus is via the release of exosomes. Trophoblast cells release exosomes that mediate aspects of cell-to-cell communication. The aim of this brief commentary is to review the putative role of exosomes released from extravillous trophoblast cells in uterine spiral artery remodeling and, in particular, their role in the aetiology of preeclampsia. Placental exosomes may engage in local cell-to-cell communication between the cell constituents of the placenta and contiguous maternal tissues and/or distal interactions, involving the release of placental exosomes into biological fluids and their transport to a remote site of action.