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The Role of microRNA in Hepatic Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury

[ Vol. 9 , Issue. 4 ]


Chrysanthos D. Christou and Georgios Tsoulfas*   Pages 248 - 254 ( 7 )


Introduction: Ischemia-Reperfusion (I/R) injuries are caused by complex interrelated mechanisms and pathways. Regarding the liver, I/R injuries and their clinical manifestations are crucial for the surgical outcome. Despite its importance, there is no broadly accepted therapy either for the prevention or for the management of I/R injury. I/R injury of the liver can occur either during hepatic surgery (warm) or during the transplantation procedure (cold). MicroRNAs play a pivotal role in the mechanism of I/R injury, as they regulate the expression of the cellular participants and humoral factors associated with I/R injury.

Objective: In this review, we highlight the microRNAs that are involved in the I/R injury of the liver, and the molecular pathways that they regulate. In addition, we discuss the potential role of circulating microRNAs as biomarkers and their role as pharmacological targets in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of I/R injuries.

Method: We conducted a comprehensive review of the PubMed bibliographic database regarding microRNAs and I/R injuries of the liver.

Results: In diagnostics, microRNA panels could replace invasive diagnostic procedures, relieving patients of the associated complications. In therapeutics, microRNAs, agomirs, antagomirs and other drugs can be used to shift the balance between proapoptotic and survival pathways, to alleviate the liver damage caused by I/R. In transplantation procedures, microRNA profiling could decrease the incidence of early graft dysfunction, especially regarding marginal grafts.

Conclusion: Although microRNAs seem a very promising clinical tool in the management of I/R injuries, further research is required, until microRNAs become a novel tool in the diagnosis and monitoring of an I/R injury of the liver.


Biomarkers, hepatic I/R, I/R mechanism, ischemia-reperfusion injury, microRNA, new targets.


First Department of General Surgery, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, First Department of General Surgery, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki

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