Epigenetics and Cardiovascular Disease in Diabetes
Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2
Type 2 diabetes has become a major health issue worldwide. Chronic hyperglycemia induces a low-grade inflammation that, on top of other mechanisms, leads to endothelial dysfunction. Mounting evidence suggests that DNA methylation, post-translational modifications of histones, and long non-coding RNAs play an important role in the initiation, maintenance, and progression of both macro- and micro-vascular complications of diabetes. Long-term exposure to hyperglycemia induces epigenetic changes that could become irreversible, a phenomenon known as the 'metabolic memory.' Whether epigenetic-based therapies could be used to slow or limit the progression of cardiovascular disease remains unclear. While non-coding RNAs are currently investigated as potential biomarkers that predict diabetic cardiovascular disease incidence and progression, their therapeutic role is only hypothetical. In this review, we highlight the latest findings in experimental and clinical studies relevant to epigenetics and cardiovascular disease in diabetes.