Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
The incidence of CVD increases with aging, because of long-term exposure to risk factors/stressors. Aging is a complex biological process resulting in progressive loss of physiological integrity, leading to impaired function and increased vulnerability to death. The main hallmarks of aging are cellular senescence, stem cell exhaustion, and altered intracellular communication. The major hallmarks of senescence are mitochondrial dysfunction, genomic instability, telomere attrition and epigenetic alterations, all of which contributing to cellular aging. Such events are controls by a family of small, non-coding RNAs (miRNAs) that interact with component of cellular senescence pathway; mitochondrial biogenesis/removal, DNA damage response machinery and IGF-1 signaling pathway. Here, we review recent in vivo/in vitro reports that miRNAs are key modulators of heart senescence, and act as master switchers to influence reprogramming pathway. We discuss evidence that abrupt deregulation of some mit-miRNAs governing senescence programs underlies age-associated CVD. In particular, due to the highly conserved nature and well-recognized target sites, miRNAs have been defined as master switchers in controlling heart progenitor cell biology. Modulation of mit-miRNA expression holds the great promise in switching off/on cellular senescence/reprogramming to rejuvenate stem cells to aid regenerative process.