Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the most important cause of death and illness in the western world. Atherosclerosis constitutes the single most important contributor to CVD. miRNAs are small ribonucleic acids (RNAs) that negatively regulate gene expression on the post-transcriptional level by inhibiting mRNA translation or promoting mRNA degradation. Several studies demonstrated that miRNAs dysregulation have a key role in the disease process and, focusing on atherosclerotic disease, in every step of plaque formation and destabilization. These data suggest a possible therapeutic application of miRNA modulation, in particular dysregulated miRNAs can be modulated in disease process antagonizing miRNAs up-regulated and increasing miRNAs down-regulated. In this review we summarize the miRNA therapeutic techniques (antimiR, mimics, sponges, masking, and erasers) underlining their therapeutic advantages and evaluating their risks and challenges. In particular, the use of miRNA modulators as a therapeutic approach opens a novel and fascinating area of intervention in the therapy of ischemic heart disease.
Copyright © 2013 Japanese College of Cardiology. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.