Affiliation: Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Eccles Street, Dublin 7, Ireland.
The pathogenesis of atherosclerosis involves the interplay of inflammation, altered cellular activity, angiogenesis, and neointima formation. The main cellular participants in atherosclerosis include vascular endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells, and monocytes. The recent discovery of small, non-coding RNAs, microRNAs (miRNAs), and their influence on these processes has provided a greater molecular insight into atherosclerosis. This in turn has led to increase focus on the potential utility of miRNA subtypes as biomarkers for coronary artery disease. Furthermore miRNAs could potentially provide therapeutic targets for the treatment of atherosclerosis and its complications. In this review, we discuss the experimental and clinical evidence for the role of miRNAs in the pathogenesis of coronary artery disease, the limitations of the data and challenges facing the field.