The microRNAs Regulating Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Proliferation: A Minireview
Vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) proliferation plays a critical role in atherosclerosis. At the beginning of the pathologic process of atherosclerosis, irregular VSMC proliferation promotes plaque formation, but in advanced plaques VSMCs are beneficial, promoting the stability and preventing rupture of the fibrous cap. Recent studies have demonstrated that microRNAs (miRNAs) expressed in the vascular system are involved in the control of VSMC proliferation. This review summarizes recent findings on the miRNAs in the regulation of VSMC proliferation, including miRNAs that exhibit the inhibition or promotion of VSMC proliferation, and their targets mediating the regulation of VSMC proliferation. Up to now, most of the studies were performed only in cultured VSMC. While the modulation of miRNAs is emerging as a promising strategy for the regulation of VSMC proliferation, most of the effects of miRNAs and their targets in vivo require further investigation.