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Circ Res. 2012 Jan 6;110(1):71-81. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.111.244442. Epub 2011 Nov 3.

Inhibition of miR-15 protects against cardiac ischemic injury.

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miRagen Therapeutics, Inc, 6200 Lookout Rd, Boulder, CO 80301, USA.



Myocardial infarction (MI) is a leading cause of death worldwide. Because endogenous cardiac repair mechanisms are not sufficient for meaningful tissue regeneration, MI results in loss of cardiac tissue and detrimental remodeling events. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression in a sequence dependent manner. Our previous data indicate that miRNAs are dysregulated in response to ischemic injury of the heart and actively contribute to cardiac remodeling after MI.


This study was designed to determine whether miRNAs are dysregulated on ischemic damage in porcine cardiac tissues and whether locked nucleic acid (LNA)-modified anti-miR chemistries can target cardiac expressed miRNAs to therapeutically inhibit miR-15 on ischemic injury.


Our data indicate that the miR-15 family, which includes 6 closely related miRNAs, is regulated in the infarcted region of the heart in response to ischemia-reperfusion injury in mice and pigs. LNA-modified chemistries can effectively silence miR-15 family members in vitro and render cardiomyocytes resistant to hypoxia-induced cardiomyocyte cell death. Correspondingly, systemic delivery of miR-15 anti-miRs dose-dependently represses miR-15 in cardiac tissue of both mice and pigs, whereas therapeutic targeting of miR-15 in mice reduces infarct size and cardiac remodeling and enhances cardiac function in response to MI.


Oligonucleotide-based therapies using LNA-modified chemistries for modulating cardiac miRNAs in the setting of heart disease are efficacious and validate miR-15 as a potential therapeutic target for the manipulation of cardiac remodeling and function in the setting of ischemic injury.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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