Kenny Schlosser, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Supervisor: Duncan Stewart, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
The proposed project will address TWO priority research areas of the Canadian Vascular Network. We will perform high-throughput miRNA screening of plasma from a subset of female acute coronary syndrome (ACS) patients that are part of a very large cohort (n=306 in total), including women with prior pregnancy-associated hypertension such as preeclampsia and gestational hypertension, and women with prior normotensive pregnancy. Our goal is to identify components of the plasma, called miRNAs, that are specifically increased or decreased in association with previous episodes of hypertension. Different plasma levels of specific miRNAs in female ACS patients with versus without prior preeclampsia, may reflect underlying differences in the vascular function and health of these groups of women. Therefore, this project directly addresses Priority Research Area 2 (“Using large study cohorts to identify novel biomarkers of microvascular dysfunction which could be used for early detection of vascular disease”). This project also has important future implications for Priority Research Area 1 (“Identifying targets for early detection strategies for populations at high risk for vascular diseases”). Women with prior preeclampsia are known to have a higher risk of premature ACS (i.e., before age 55), though the molecular etiology of this predisposition remains unclear. We expect this study will broaden our understanding of the potential long-term molecular changes induced by previous hypertensive injury, and provide insight that may be leveraged to develop new non-invasive strategies for predicting risk of premature ACS and facilitating early detection.