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MicroRNAs as Clinical Biomarkers and Therapeutic Tools in Perioperative Medicine

Kreth, Simone MD, PhD*†; Hübner, Max MD*†; Hinske, Ludwig Christian MD*

doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000002444
Basic Science: Systematic Review Article

Over the past decade, evolutionarily conserved, noncoding small RNAs—so-called microRNAs (miRNAs)—have emerged as important regulators of virtually all cellular processes. miRNAs influence gene expression by binding to the 3′-untranslated region of protein-coding RNA, leading to its degradation and translational repression. In medicine, miRNAs have been revealed as novel, highly promising biomarkers and as attractive tools and targets for novel therapeutic approaches. miRNAs are currently entering the field of perioperative medicine, and they may open up new perspectives in anesthesia, critical care, and pain medicine. In this review, we provide an overview of the biology of miRNAs and their potential role in human disease. We highlight current paradigms of miRNA-mediated effects in perioperative medicine and provide a survey of miRNA biomarkers in the field known so far. Finally, we provide a perspective on miRNA-based therapeutic opportunities and perspectives.

Published ahead of print September 14, 2017.

From the *Department of Anesthesiology, and Walter-Brendel-Centre of Experimental Medicine, University of Munich (LMU), Munich, Germany.

Published ahead of print September 14, 2017.

Accepted for publication July 25, 2017.

Funding: None.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Reprints will not be available from the authors.

Address correspondence to Simone Kreth, MD, PhD, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Munich (LMU), Munich, Germany. Address e-mail to

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