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      FIB-SEM tomography of human skin telocytes and their extracellular vesicles

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          We have shown in 2012 the existence of telocytes (TCs) in human dermis. TCs were described by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) as interstitial cells located in non-epithelial spaces (stroma) of many organs (see TCs have very long prolongations (tens to hundreds micrometers) named Telopodes (Tps). These Tps have a special conformation with dilated portions named podoms (containing mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum and caveolae) and very thin segments (below resolving power of light microscopy), called podomers. To show the real 3D architecture of TC network, we used the most advanced available electron microscope technology: focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM) tomography. Generally, 3D reconstruction of dermal TCs by FIB-SEM tomography revealed the existence of Tps with various conformations: ( i) long, flattened irregular veils (ribbon-like segments) with knobs, corresponding to podoms, and ( ii) tubular structures (podomers) with uneven calibre because of irregular dilations (knobs) – the podoms. FIB-SEM tomography also showed numerous extracellular vesicles (diameter 438.6 ± 149.1 nm, n = 30) released by a human dermal TC. Our data might be useful for understanding the role(s) of TCs in intercellular signalling and communication, as well as for comprehension of pathologies like scleroderma, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, etc.

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          Most cited references 69

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          Extracellular vesicles: Exosomes, microvesicles, and friends

          Cells release into the extracellular environment diverse types of membrane vesicles of endosomal and plasma membrane origin called exosomes and microvesicles, respectively. These extracellular vesicles (EVs) represent an important mode of intercellular communication by serving as vehicles for transfer between cells of membrane and cytosolic proteins, lipids, and RNA. Deficiencies in our knowledge of the molecular mechanisms for EV formation and lack of methods to interfere with the packaging of cargo or with vesicle release, however, still hamper identification of their physiological relevance in vivo. In this review, we focus on the characterization of EVs and on currently proposed mechanisms for their formation, targeting, and function.
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            Minimal experimental requirements for definition of extracellular vesicles and their functions: a position statement from the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles

            Secreted membrane-enclosed vesicles, collectively called extracellular vesicles (EVs), which include exosomes, ectosomes, microvesicles, microparticles, apoptotic bodies and other EV subsets, encompass a very rapidly growing scientific field in biology and medicine. Importantly, it is currently technically challenging to obtain a totally pure EV fraction free from non-vesicular components for functional studies, and therefore there is a need to establish guidelines for analyses of these vesicles and reporting of scientific studies on EV biology. Here, the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV) provides researchers with a minimal set of biochemical, biophysical and functional standards that should be used to attribute any specific biological cargo or functions to EVs.
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              TELOCYTES – a case of serendipity: the winding way from Interstitial Cells of Cajal (ICC), via Interstitial Cajal-Like Cells (ICLC) to TELOCYTES

              Abstract Ramon y Cajal discovered a particular cell type in the gut, which he named ‘interstitial neurons’ more that 100 years ago. In the early 1970s, electron microscopy/electron microscope (EM) studies showed that indeed a special interstitial cell type corresponding to the cells discovered by Cajal is localized in the gut muscle coat, but it became obvious that they were not neurons. Consequently, they were renamed ‘interstitial cells of Cajal’ (ICC) and considered to be pace-makers for gut motility. For the past 10 years many groups were interested in whether or not ICC are present outside the gastrointestinal tract, and indeed, peculiar interstitial cells were found in: upper and lower urinary tracts, blood vessels, pancreas, male and female reproductive tracts, mammary gland, placenta, and, recently, in the heart as well as in the gut. Such cells, now mostly known as interstitial Cajal-like cells (ICLC), were given different and confusing names. Moreover, ICLC are only apparently similar to canonical ICC. In fact, EM and cell cultures revealed very particular features of ICLC, which unequivocally distinguishes them from ICC and all other interstitial cells: the presence of 2–5 cell body prolongations that are very thin (less than 0.2 μm, under resolving power of light microscopy), extremely long (tens to hundreds of μm), with a moniliform aspect (many dilations along), as well as caveolae. Given the unique dimensions of these prolongations (very long and very thin) and to avoid further confusion with other interstitial cell types (e.g. fibroblast, fibrocyte, fibroblast-like cells, mesenchymal cells), we are proposing the term TELOCYTES for them, and TELOPODES for their prolongations, by using the Greek affix ‘telos’.

                Author and article information

                J Cell Mol Med
                J. Cell. Mol. Med
                Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
                BlackWell Publishing Ltd (Oxford, UK )
                April 2015
                30 March 2015
                : 19
                : 4
                : 714-722
                [a ]Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy Bucharest, Romania
                [b ]Victor Babeş National Institute of Pathology Bucharest, Romania
                [c ]Carl Zeiss Microscopy, GmbH Munich, Germany
                [d ]Department of Dermatology, Colentina University Hospital, Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy Bucharest, Romania
                Author notes
                *Correspondence to: LAURENTIU M. POPESCU, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, Romania., E-mail: LMP@
                © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Foundation for Cellular and Molecular Medicine.

                This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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