Targeting microRNAs as a Therapeutic Strategy to Reduce Oxidative Stress in Diabetes

Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Dec 17;20(24):6358. doi: 10.3390/ijms20246358.


Diabetes mellitus is a group of heterogeneous metabolic disorders characterized by chronic hyperglycaemia as a consequence of pancreatic β cell loss and/or dysfunction, also caused by oxidative stress. The molecular mechanisms involved inβ cell dysfunction and in response to oxidative stress are also regulated by microRNAs (miRNAs). miRNAs are a class of negative gene regulators, which modulate pathologic mechanisms occurring in diabetes and its complications. Although several pharmacological therapies specifically targeting miRNAs have already been developed and brought to the clinic, most previous miRNA-based drug delivery methods were unable to target a specific miRNA in a single cell type or tissue, leading to important off-target effects. In order to overcome these issues, aptamers and nanoparticles have been described as non-cytotoxic vehicles for miRNA-based drug delivery. These approaches could represent an innovative way to specifically target and modulate miRNAs involved in oxidative stress in diabetes and its complications. Therefore, the aims of this review are: (i) to report the role of miRNAs involved in oxidative stress in diabetes as promising therapeutic targets; (ii) to shed light onto the new delivery strategies developed to modulate the expression of miRNAs in diseases.

Keywords: aptamers; diabetes; drug delivery; miRNAs; nanoparticles; oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aptamers, Nucleotide / administration & dosage
  • Aptamers, Nucleotide / therapeutic use*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / drug effects
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy / methods
  • Nanoparticles / therapeutic use*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*


  • Aptamers, Nucleotide
  • MicroRNAs