Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained arrhythmia and is associated with pronounced morbidity and mortality. Its prevalence, expected to further increase for the forthcoming years, and associated frequent hospitalizations turn AF into a major health problem. Structural and electrical atrial remodelling underlie the substrate for AF, but the exact mechanisms driving this remodelling remain incompletely understood. Recent studies have shown that microRNAs (miRNA), short non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression, may be involved in the pathophysiology of AF. MiRNAs have been implicated in AF-induced ion channel remodelling and fibrosis. MiRNAs could therefore provide insight into AF pathophysiology or become novel targets for therapy with miRNA mimics or anti-miRNAs. Moreover, circulating miRNAs have been suggested as a new class of diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers of AF. However, the origin and function of miRNAs in tissue and plasma frequently remain unknown and studies investigating the role of miRNAs in AF vary in design and focus and even present contradicting results. Here, we provide a systematic review of the available clinical and functional studies investigating the tissue and plasma miRNAs in AF and will thereafter discuss the potential of miRNAs as biomarkers or novel therapeutic targets in AF.
Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 28, 2017
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