Small molecule-mediated induction of miR-9 suppressed vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation and neointima formation after balloon injury.

PMID 29212155


Pathologic proliferation and migration of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) exacerbate cardiovascular disease. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), as endogenous inhibitors of protein synthesis, are expected to modulate pathologic proliferation of VSMCs. Here we report that both platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) targeting miR-9 and a small molecule that increases miR-9 can inhibit the serum-induced proliferation of VSMCs. First, based on miRNA-target prediction databases and empirical data, we have selected miR-9 as a potent anti-proliferative miRNA in VSMCs. Further examination indicated that miR-9 directly targets PDGFR disrupting downstream signaling cascades, and this resulted in inhibition of VSMC proliferation and migration. Exogenous delivery of miR-9 inhibited VSMC proliferation in vitro, and a small molecule that increased miR-9 expression also inhibited neointima formation following balloon injury in vivo. We provide evidence of miRNA-mediated modulation of VSMC proliferation and further demonstrate that small molecule-mediated regulation of miRNA targeting a key regulator of VSMC proliferation is a viable therapeutic strategy for treating vascular disease involving pathologic VSMC proliferation such as restenosis.