Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) is an organochlorine derivative known for its detrimental effect on human health. It was abundantly used as a pesticide and finally banned in many countries for its toxicity. Because of its extremely long half-life (up to 10 years), DDT is still blamed to cause health problems, due to the accumulation in the environment. We have previously shown that in vitro exposure to DDT causes severe membrane shedding with the release of vesicular organelles such as exosomes and/or ectosomes. A large body of evidence has shown that these vesicles, other than being directly involved in physiological exchanges of cellular materials, are implicated in the pathogenesis of several diseases such as viral and neurodegenerative diseases as well as tumorigenesis. In this short review, we discuss how the increased release of extracellular vesicles could explain the enhanced risk of diseases in patients exposed to organochlorine derivatives such as DDT.
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