Milk-Derived Exosomes and Metabolic Regulation

Janos Zempleni, Sonal Sukreet, Fang Zhou, Di Wu, Ezra Mutai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


Exosomes are natural nanoparticles that play an important role in cell-to-cell communication. Communication is achieved through the transfer of cargos, such as microRNAs, from donor to recipient cells and binding of exosomes to cell surface receptors. Exosomes and their cargos are also obtained from dietary sources, such as milk. Exosome and cell glycoproteins are crucial for intestinal uptake. A large fraction of milk exosomes accumulates in the brain, whereas the tissue distribution of microRNA cargos varies among distinct species of microRNA. The fraction of milk exosomes that escapes absorption elicits changes in microbial communities in the gut. Dietary depletion of exosomes and their cargos causes a loss of circulating microRNAs and elicits phenotypes such as loss of cognitive performance, increase in purine metabolites, loss of fecundity, and changes in the immune response. Milk exosomes meet the definition of bioactive food compounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-262
Number of pages18
JournalAnnual Review of Animal Biosciences
StatePublished - Feb 15 2019


  • RNA
  • exosomes
  • extracellular vesicles
  • microRNA
  • milk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics
  • General Veterinary


Dive into the research topics of 'Milk-Derived Exosomes and Metabolic Regulation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this