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Blay, Richard Michael (2016): The role of microRNA-21 in macrophages during atherosclerosis. Dissertation, LMU München: Faculty of Medicine



Atherosclerosis is a maladaptive inflammatory response that occurs at susceptible sites in the walls of major conduit arteries to disturbed flow and increased plasma cholesterol. The process which is initiated by lipid retention in the intima and subsequent oxidation, promotes a chronic inflammatory response and ultimately forming advanced lesions that can cause stenosis or rupture and cause thrombosis. Ischemic heart disease and cerebrovascular disease, two clinical consequences of atherosclerosis, are the leading causes of death in high-income countries as well as low and middle-income countries. Micro-ribonucleic acids (miRNAs/microRNAs/miRs), a class of small endogenous non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression play important roles in several physiological and pathological processes. MicroRNAs are also implicated in various functions in different cell types and stages involved in atherogenesis. The use of these small RNAs either as diagnostic markers or therapeutic measures presents a promising solution in the fight against atherosclerosis, its clinical complications and contribution to disease burden and mortality.