Review Article

miRNAS in cardiovascular diseases: potential biomarkers, therapeutic targets and challenges

Shan-shan ZHOU1,2, Jing-peng JIN3, Ji-qun WANG1,2, Zhi-guo ZHANG1,2, Jonathan H FREEDMAN4, Yang ZHENG1, Lu CAI2,4
1 The Center of Cardiovascular Diseases, the First Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun 130021, China
2 Pediatric Research Institute, the Department of Pediatrics of University of Louisville, Louisville 40202, USA
3 Endoscopy Center China-Japan Union Hospital of Jilin University, 126 Xiantai Street, Changchun 130033, China
4 Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, the University of Louisville, Louisville, 40202, USA
Correspondence to: Jonathan H FREEDMAN:, Yang ZHENG:,
DOI: 10.1038/aps.2018.30
Received: 14 December 2017
Accepted: 7 April 2018
Advance online: 7 June 2019


Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the world. Although considerable progress has been made in the diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of CVD, there is still a critical need for novel diagnostic biomarkers and new therapeutic interventions to decrease the incidence of this disease. Recently, there is increasing evidence that circulating miRNAs (miRNAs), i.e. endogenous, stable, single-stranded, short, non-coding RNAs, can be used as diagnostic biomarkers for CVD. Furthermore, miRNAs represent potential novel therapeutic targets for several cardiovascular disorders. In this review we provides an overview of the effects of several CVD; including heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, arrhythmias and pulmonary hypertension; on levels of circulating miRNAs. In addition, the use of miRNA as therapeutic targets is also discussed, as well as challenges and recommendations in their use in the diagnosis of CVD.
Keywords: microRNA; cardiovascular diseases; biomarker; therapeutic targets

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