MicroRNAs associated with the pathways involved in the pathogenesis of abdominal aortic aneurysms

P.W. Stather, N. Sylvius, J.B. Wild, E. Choke, R.D. Sayers, M.J. Bown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression at a post-transcriptional level. Through binding to mRNA sequences, miRNAs have a wide variety of functions, and are key regulators in vascular disease. Although there are only 2 papers looking directly at the association between miRNA and abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA), several studies have looked at miRNAs implicated in vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) proliferation, extracellular matrix (ECM) remodelling, and the known genes and genetic loci associated with AAA. This review aims to determine potential miRNAs associated with the pathways involved in abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) pathophysiology, to guide future focused research.

Methods and results: A systematic review of the published literature was performed, searching for articles detailing miRNA associations with AAA or processes associated with aneurysm formation. Eighteen miRNAs were identified to be associated with aneurysm formation, ten miRNAs were associated with VSMC physiology, and nine miRNAs were involved in regulation of the ECM. Seven miRNAs were replicated in more than 1 study (miR-19b, miR-21, miR-26a, miR-29b, miR-146a, miR-221, miR-222).

Conclusions: The association between miRNAs associated with known AAA genes, and those involved in VSMC/ECM pathophysiology highlight promising areas for further significantly powered human studies, which with miRNA level modulation, present a novel opportunity to determine pathways for AAA formation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-35
JournalArtery Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

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