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J Am Soc Hypertens. 2014 Jun;8(6):368-75. doi: 10.1016/j.jash.2014.03.324. Epub 2014 Mar 27.

MicroRNA-9 and microRNA-126 expression levels in patients with essential hypertension: potential markers of target-organ damage.

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Molecular Cardiology Laboratory, School of Medicine, University of Crete, Greece. Electronic address:
Department of Cardiology, Heraklion University Hospital, Crete, Greece.


MicroRNAs (miRs), as essential gene expression regulators, modulate cardiovascular development and disease and thus they are emerging as potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets in cardiovascular disease, including hypertension. We assessed the expression levels of the microRNAs miR-9 and miR-126 in 60 patients with untreated essential hypertension and 29 healthy individuals. All patients underwent two-dimensional echocardiography and 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. MicroRNA expression levels in peripheral blood mononuclear cells were quantified by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Hypertensive patients showed significantly lower miR-9 (9.69 ± 1.56 vs 41.08 ± 6.06; P < .001) and miR-126 (3.88 ± 0.47 vs 8.96 ± 1.69; P < .001) expression levels compared with healthy controls. In hypertensive patients, miR-9 expression levels showed a significant positive correlation (r = 0.437; P < .001) with left ventricular mass index. Furthermore, both miR-9 (r = 0.312; P = .015) and miR-126 (r = 0.441; P < .001) expression levels in hypertensive patients showed significant positive correlations with the 24-hour mean pulse pressure. Our data reveal that miR-9 and miR-126 are closely related to essential hypertension in humans, as they show a distinct expression profile in hypertensive patients relative to healthy individuals, and they are associated with clinical prognostic indices of hypertensive target-organ damage in hypertensive patients. Thus, they may possibly represent potential biomarkers and candidate therapeutic targets in essential hypertension.


MicroRNAs; essential hypertension; left ventricular mass index; pulse pressure

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