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Circ Res. 2010 Sep 3;107(5):677-84. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.109.215566. Epub 2010 Jul 1.

Circulating microRNAs in patients with coronary artery disease.

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Institute for Cardiovascular Regeneration, Goethe University Frankfurt, Theodor Stern Kai 7, Frankfurt, Germany.



MicroRNAs are small RNAs that control gene expression. Besides their cell intrinsic function, recent studies reported that microRNAs are released by cultured cells and can be detected in the blood.


To address the regulation of circulating microRNAs in patients with stable coronary artery disease.


To determine the regulation of microRNAs, we performed a microRNA profile using RNA isolated from n=8 healthy volunteers and n=8 patients with stable coronary artery disease that received state-of-the-art pharmacological treatment. Interestingly, most of the highly expressed microRNAs that were lower in the blood of patients with coronary artery disease are known to be expressed in endothelial cells (eg, miR-126 and members of the miR-17 approximately 92 cluster). To prospectively confirm these data, we detected selected microRNAs in plasma of 36 patients with coronary artery disease and 17 healthy volunteers by quantitative PCR. Consistent with the data obtained by the profile, circulating levels of miR-126, miR-17, miR-92a, and the inflammation-associated miR-155 were significantly reduced in patients with coronary artery disease compared with healthy controls. Likewise, the smooth muscle-enriched miR-145 was significantly reduced. In contrast, cardiac muscle-enriched microRNAs (miR-133a, miR-208a) tend to be higher in patients with coronary artery disease. These results were validated in a second cohort of 31 patients with documented coronary artery disease and 14 controls.


Circulating levels of vascular and inflammation-associated microRNAs are significantly downregulated in patients with coronary artery disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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