Abstract

More than eight hundred million people worldwide have chronic liver disease, with two million deaths per year. Recurring liver injury results in fibrogenesis, progressing towards cirrhosis, for which there doesn’t exists any cure except liver transplantation. Better understanding of the mechanisms leading to cirrhosis and its complications is needed to develop effective therapies. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are released by cells and are important for cell-to-cell communication. EVs have been reported to be involved in homeostasis maintenance, as well as in liver diseases. In this review, we present current knowledge on the role of EVs in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, alcohol-associated liver disease, chronic viral hepatitis, primary liver cancers, acute liver injury and liver regeneration. Moreover, therapeutic strategies involving EVs as targets or as tools to treat liver diseases are summarized.

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