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Extracellular Vesicles in Alcoholic Liver Disease: Basic and Pre-Clinical Discovery

A salient feature of alcoholic liver disease is Kupffer cell activation and recruitment of inflammatory monocytes and macrophages. These key cellular events of ALD pathogenesis may be mediated by extracellular vesicles (EV). EVs transfer biomaterials, including proteins and microRNA's, and have recently emerged as important effectors of intercellular communications. Our studies indicate a specific protein signature of ALD EVs and demonstrates a functional role of circulating EVs containing heat shock protein 90 in mediating Kupffer cell and macrophage activation in the liver.