Noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs), such as microRNAs (miRNAs) and long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are becoming fundamentally important in the pathophysiology relating to injury-induced vascular remodelling. We highlight recent studies that demonstrate the involvement of ncRNAs in vein graft disease, in in-stent restenosis and in pulmonary arterial hypertension, with a particular focus on endothelial cell and vascular smooth muscle cell function. We also briefly discuss the emerging role of exosomal-derived ncRNAs and how this mechanism impacts on vascular function.
ncRNAs have been described as novel regulators in the pathophysiology of vascular injury, inflammation, and vessel wall remodelling. In particular, several studies have demonstrated that manipulation of miRNAs can reduce the burden of pathological vascular remodelling. Such studies have also shown that exosomal miRNA-mediated, cell-to-cell communication between endothelial cells and vascular smooth muscle cells is critical in the disease process. In addition to miRNAs, lncRNAs are emerging as regulators of vascular function in health and disease. Although lncRNAs are complex in both their sheer numbers and mechanisms of action, identifying their contribution to vascular disease is essential.
Given the important roles of ncRNAs in vascular injury and remodelling together will their capacity for cell-to-cell communication, manipulating ncRNA might provide novel therapeutic interventions.
aBHF Glasgow Cardiovascular Research Centre, University of Glasgow, Glasgow
bCentre for Cardiovascular Science, Queen's Medical Research Institute, BHF/University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK
Correspondence to Andrew H. Baker, Centre for Cardiovascular Science, Queen's Medical Research Institute, University of Edinburgh, 47 Little France Crescent, Edinburgh EH16 4TJ, UK. Tel: +44 0131 242 6728; e-mail: Andy.Baker@ed.ac.uk