Cardiovascular complications of diabetes: role of non-coding RNAs in the crosstalk between immune and cardiovascular systems

Gaia Spinetti*, Martina Mutoli, Simona Greco, Federica Riccio, Soumaya Ben-Aicha, Franziska Kenneweg, Amela Jusic, David de Gonzalo-Calvo, Anne Yaël Nossent, Susana Novella, Georgios Kararigas, Thomas Thum, Costanza Emanueli, Yvan Devaux, Fabio Martelli*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Diabetes mellitus, a group of metabolic disorders characterized by high levels of blood glucose caused by insulin defect or impairment, is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and related mortality. Patients with diabetes experience a state of chronic or intermittent hyperglycemia resulting in damage to the vasculature, leading to micro- and macro-vascular diseases. These conditions are associated with low-grade chronic inflammation and accelerated atherosclerosis. Several classes of leukocytes have been implicated in diabetic cardiovascular impairment. Although the molecular pathways through which diabetes elicits an inflammatory response have attracted significant attention, how they contribute to altering cardiovascular homeostasis is still incompletely understood. In this respect, non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) are a still largely under-investigated class of transcripts that may play a fundamental role. This review article gathers the current knowledge on the function of ncRNAs in the crosstalk between immune and cardiovascular cells in the context of diabetic complications, highlighting the influence of biological sex in such mechanisms and exploring the potential role of ncRNAs as biomarkers and targets for treatments. The discussion closes by offering an overview of the ncRNAs involved in the increased cardiovascular risk suffered by patients with diabetes facing Sars-CoV-2 infection. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Article number122
Pages (from-to)122
JournalCardiovascular Diabetology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2023


  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Inflammation
  • Non-coding RNAs


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