Extracellular vesicles in the intrauterine environment: challenges and potential functions

Lead researcher

Professor Lois Salamonsen

Main finding

This invited review, firstly defines the different forms of extracellular vesicles (EVs), their purification and validation. EVs (including exosomes) package distinct cargo elements that vary depending upon cell of origin and its phenotype. EVs are present in the uterine cavity, with demonstrated effects on in the microenvironment of sperm transport and of blastocyst and endometrial preparation for implantation. Importantly, uptake of endometrial exosomes by blastocysts, alters trophectodermal implantation potential.


Centre for Reproductive Health

Research group

Endometrial remodelling


Dr Hong Nguyen
Professor Richard Simpson
Dr David Greening

Journal and article title

Most surprising

This is an emerging field and the review is timely.

Future implications

The findings confirm the importance of the intrauterine microenvironment for successful implantation and define a role for locally released exosomes in establishing a pregnancy.

Disease/health impact

Fertility/ infertility

Other points of interest

We have established an active exosome interest group at the Hudson and would welcome further members.