Peripheral ischemia is associated with higher degree of endothelial dysfunction and a worse prognosis after percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI). However, the role of peripheral ischemia on vascular remodeling in remote districts remains poorly understood. Here we show that the presence of hindlimb ischemia significantly enhances neointima formation and impairs endothelial recovery in balloon-injured carotid arteries. Endothelial-derived microRNAs are involved in the modulation of these processes. Indeed, endothelial miR-16 is remarkably upregulated after vascular injury in the presences of hindlimb ischemia and exerts a negative effect on endothelial repair through the inhibition of RhoGDIα and nitric oxide (NO) production. We showed that the repression of RhoGDIα by means of miR-16 induces RhoA, with consequent reduction of NO bioavailability. Thus, hindlimb ischemia affects negative carotid remodeling increasing neointima formation after injury, while systemic antagonizzation of miR-16 is able to prevent these negative effects.
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