MicroRNAs in vascular aging and atherosclerosis

Rossella Menghini, Robert Stöhr, Massimo Federici
Ageing Research Reviews 2014, 17: 68-78
Lipid dysfunction, inflammation, immune response and advanced aging are major factors involved in the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as important regulators of gene expression that post transcriptionally modify cellular responses and function. MiRNA's are crucially involved in several vascular pathologies which show a clear association with increasing age (Dimmeler and Nicotera, 2013). Several studies have demonstrated that miRNA dysregulation has a crucial role in the development of atherosclerotic disease, encompassing every step from plaque formation to destabilization and rupture. This review will present the recent advances in the elucidation of the complex pathophysiological mechanisms in vascular aging by which miRNAs regulate the different phases of atherosclerotic process with a focus on endothelial cells and both, innate and adaptive immune systems. Furthermore, the future areas of research and potential clinical strategies will be discussed.

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