Diagnostic and therapeutic potential of miR-181 in HFpEF

Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) represents 50% of heart failure cases and is characterized by poor prognosis (50% 5-year mortality) and reduced quality of life. Due to an ageing population and the deficiency of effective pharmacological treatment, HFpEF is one of the unmet medical needs of the 21st century. The tremendous heterogeneity in the patient population and the limited knowledge about the underlying pathological mechanisms impede current drug development. However, at this stage microRNAs (miRNAs) recently came forward as interesting tools to study the involved pathways, to function as biomarkers and as therapeutic targets. Among them, miR-181 has been identified in the context of heart failure, but without clear understanding of its mode of action and its function. 

In our study we want to investigate the diagnostic and therapeutic potential of miR-181 in HFpEF  in a translational manner: on one hand we explore its expression in a patient cohort representing different phenotypes of heart failure for its biomarker potential, on the other hand we perform multiple in vivo experiments on HFpEF mouse models in order to 1) examine miR-181 expression  in different phenotypes, 2) determine potential target RNAs and 3) to investigate the effect of miR-181 on cardiac remodeling. Results will contribute to a better understanding of the role of miR-181 in HFpEF pathology and might bring forward new therapeutic targets or biomarkers.

Funding: BOF

Researcher: Boen Jente

Promotor: Van Craenenbroeck Emeline

Co-promotor: Segers Vincent

Co-promotor: Gevaert Andreas