MicroRNAs in Diabetes and Its Vascular Complications

Saran Shantikumar, Susana Rovira-Llopis, Gaia Spinetti, and Costanza Emanueli


Diabetes is a complex, metabolic disorder that is characterised by chronic hyperglycaemia and is widely recognised as a major health threat worldwide. The major causes of morbidity and mortality in diabetes result from vascular complications. These can be both microvascular, resulting in retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy, and macrovascular, affecting the heart and peripheral vessels. In this chapter, the roles of microRNAs in the development of diabetes are described. In addition, we show how microRNA-mediated mechanisms in diabetes result in an impaired vascular reparative potential, acting via the bone marrow and both stem and progenitor cells. Finally, we discuss the roles of microRNAs in the development of specific microvascular and macrovascular complications in the context of diabetes, and describe the potential of microRNAs as circulating biomarkers of diabetic cardiovascular disease.

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