Role of microRNAs in the modulation of diabetic retinopathy.Prog Retin Eye Res. 2014 Nov; 43:92-107.PR
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the leading cause of vision loss in the working-age adults. It affects a third of diabetics. Diabetic macular edema, an advanced complication of DR, develops in nearly 7% of diabetic patients. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a novel group of non-coding small RNAs that post-transcriptionally control gene expression by promoting either degradation or translational repression of target messenger RNA. They are implicated in a large variety of physiological and pathophysiological processes, including glucose homeostasis, angiogenesis and modulation of inflammatory response. MiRNAs also play a critical role in the pathogenesis of diabetes and the related micro- and macrovascular complications. The purpose of this review is to describe the potential role of miRNAs in diabetes and evaluate their implication in DR. MiRNAs involved in the modulation of glucose metabolism (insulin secretion and sensitivity) and MiRNAs playing a role in the pathogenesis of DR with their potential target genes are reviewed. Understanding MiRNAs implication in DR could be helpful for developing new gain- or loss- of -function strategies in order to establish effective treatments and reduce the rate of visual disability due to progression of retinopathy.