OSTEOARTHRITIS: Edited by Mukundan AtturExtracellular vesicles in cartilage homeostasis and osteoarthritisMiyaki, Shigerua,b,c; Lotz, Martin K.aAuthor Information aDepartment of Molecular Medicine, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California, USA bMedical Center for Translational and Clinical Research, Hiroshima University Hospital cDepartment of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, Japan Correspondence to Martin K. Lotz, Department of Molecular Medicine, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA. Tel: +1 858 784 8960; e-mail: email@example.com Current Opinion in Rheumatology: January 2018 - Volume 30 - Issue 1 - p 129-135 doi: 10.1097/BOR.0000000000000454 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review Extracellular vesicles carry bioactive molecules that can be transferred between cells and tissues. The purpose of this review is to describe how extracellular vesicles regulate functions of cells in cartilage and other joint tissues. The potential application of extracellular vesicles in the treatment of osteoarthritis and as biomarkers will also be discussed. Recent findings Extracellular vesicles are found in synovial fluid, in articular cartilage and in the supernatants of synoviocytes and chondrocytes. Extracellular vesicles in cartilage have been proposed to be involved in cross talk between cells in joint tissues and to affect extracellular matrix turnover and inflammation. Extracellular vesicles from arthritic joints can promote abnormal gene expression and changes in cartilage extracellular matrix, including abnormal mineralization. Promising results were obtained in the therapeutic application of mesenchymal stem cell-derived extracellular vesicles for cartilage repair and experimental osteoarthritis. Summary Extracellular vesicles have emerged as vehicles for the exchange of bioactive signaling molecules within cartilage and between joint tissues to promote joint homeostasis and arthritis pathogenesis. As the molecular content of extracellular vesicles can be customized, they offer utility in therapeutic applications. Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.