Epigenetic-related therapeutic challenges in cardiovascular disease

Concetta Schiano, Maria Teresa Vietri, Vincenzo Grimaldi, Antonietta Picascia, Maria Rosaria De Pascale, Claudio Napoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Progress in human genetic and genomic research has led to the identification of genetic variants associated with specific cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), but the pathogenic mechanisms remain unclear. Recent studies have analyzed the involvement of epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation and histone modifications in the development and progression of CVD. Preliminary work has investigated the correlations between DNA methylation, histone modifications, and RNA-based mechanisms with CVDs including atherosclerosis, heart failure (HF), myocardial infarction (MI), and cardiac hypertrophy. Remarkably, both in utero programming and postnatal hypercholesterolemia may affect the epigenetic signature in the human cardiovascular system, thereby providing novel early epigenetic-related pharmacological insights. Interestingly, some dietary compounds, including polyphenols, cocoa, and folic acid, can modulate DNA methylation status, whereas statins may promote epigenetic-based control in CVD prevention through histone modifications. We review recent findings on the epigenetic control of cardiovascular system and new challenges for therapeutic strategies in CVDs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-235
Number of pages10
JournalTrends in Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2015


  • atherosclerosis
  • cardiovascular disease
  • cardiovascular pharmacology
  • epigenetics
  • natural compounds
  • statins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Toxicology


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