The endothelium plays a pivotal role in maintaining vascular health. Obesity is a global epidemic that has seen dramatic increases in both adult and pediatric populations. Obesity perturbs the integrity of normal endothelium, leading to endothelial dysfunction which predisposes the patient to cardiovascular diseases. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short, single-stranded, non-coding RNA molecules that play important roles in a variety of cellular processes such as differentiation, proliferation, apoptosis, and stress response; their alteration contributes to the development of many pathologies including obesity. Mediators of obesity-induced endothelial dysfunction include altered endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1), oxidative stress, autophagy machinery and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. All of these factors have been shown to be either directly or indirectly caused by gene regulatory mechanisms of miRNAs. In this review, we aim to provide a comprehensive description of the therapeutic potential of miRNAs to treat obesity-induced endothelial dysfunction. This may lead to the identification of new targets for interventions that may prevent or delay the development of obesity-related cardiovascular disease.
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Endothelial dysfunction