Despite rapid advances in cardiovascular research and therapeutic strategies, ischemic heart disease (IHD) remains the leading cause of mortality worldwide. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, noncoding RNAs which post transcriptionally regulate gene expression. In the past few years, miRNAs have emerged as key tools for the understanding of the pathophysiology of IHD, with potential uses as new biomarkers and therapeutic targets. Several studies report a regulatory role of miRNAs, with regard to fundamental components of IHD pathogenesis and progression, such as lipoprotein metabolism, atherogenesis, vascular calcification, platelet function, and angiogenesis. Due to their high stability in biofluids, circulating miRNAs have attracted attention as promising biomarkers of IHD, especially in cardiovascular risk prediction and the diagnosis of myocardial infarction. Furthermore, experimental studies have demonstrated the potential of miRNA-targeted therapy in improving hyperlipidemia, atherosclerosis, and angiogenesis. In this review, the current knowledge on the role of miRNAs in IHD and translational perspectives of their use is discussed.
From the *Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom; †The Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom; and ‡Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.
This study was supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) - Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre; and CAPES Foundation – Ministry of Education of Brazil.
Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Correspondence: Vijay Kunadian, MBBS, MD, FRCP, FACC, FESC, PGDip, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University, 3rd Floor William Leech Building, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4HH, United Kingdom. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.