Extracellular vesicle cross-talk in the bone marrow microenvironment: implications in multiple myeloma

Jinheng Wang _, Sylvia Faict, Ken Maes, Elke De Bruyne, Els Van Valckenborgh, Rik Schots, Karin Vanderkerken and Eline Menu

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:38927-38945. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.7792

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Jinheng Wang1,* Sylvia Faict1,* Ken Maes1, Elke De Bruyne1, Els Van Valckenborgh1, Rik Schots2, Karin Vanderkerken1,* and Eline Menu1,*

1 Department of Hematology and Immunology, Myeloma Center Brussels, Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB), Brussels, Belgium

2 Department of Clinical Hematology, Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel, Brussels, Belgium

* These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Eline Menu, email:

Keywords: extracellular vesicle; exosome; multiple myeloma; bone marrow microenvironment; cross-talk

Received: December 21, 2015 Accepted: February 21, 2016 Published: February 29, 2016


The bone marrow (BM) represents a complex microenvironment containing stromal cells, immune cells, osteoclasts, osteoblasts, and hematopoietic cells, which are crucial for the immune response, bone formation, and hematopoiesis. Apart from soluble factors and direct cell-cell contact, extracellular vesicles (EVs), including exosomes, were recently identified as a third mediator for cell communication. Solid evidence has already demonstrated the involvement of various BM-derived cells and soluble factors in the regulation of multiple biological processes whereas the EV-mediated message delivery system from the BM has just been explored in recent decades. These EVs not only perform physiological functions but can also play a role in cancer development, including in Multiple Myeloma (MM) which is a plasma cell malignancy predominantly localized in the BM. This review will therefore focus on the multiple functions of EVs derived from BM cells, the manipulation of the BM by cancer-derived EVs, and the role of BM EVs in MM progression.

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