An update on the roles of immune system derived microRNAs in cardiovascular diseases

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7 Citations (Scopus)


Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are a leading cause of human death worldwide. Over the past two decades, the emerging field of cardioimmunology has demonstrated how cells of the immune system play vital roles in the pathogenesis of CVD. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are critical regulators of cellular identity and function. Cell-intrinsic, as well as cell-extrinsic, roles of immune and inflammatory cell-derived miRNAs have been, and continue to be, extensively studied. Several 'immuno-miRNAs' appear to be specifically expressed or demonstrate greatly enriched expression within leucocytes. Identification of miRNAs as critical regulators of immune system signalling pathways has posed the question of whether and how targeting these molecules therapeutically, may afford opportunities for disease treatment and/or management. As the field of cardioimmunology rapidly continues to advance, this review discusses findings from recent human and murine studies which contribute to our understanding of how leucocytes of innate and adaptive immunity are regulated - and may also regulate other cell types, via the actions of the miRNAs they express, in the context of CVD. Finally, we focus on available information regarding miRNA regulation of regulatory T cells and argue that targeted manipulation of miRNA regulated pathways in these cells may hold therapeutic promise for the treatment of CVD and associated risk factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2434-2449
Number of pages16
JournalCardiovascular Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021


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