Bad Nauheim – German researchers have discovered a way to prevent arteriosclerosis at an early stage. Transgenic mice that did not express miRNAs miR143 and145 showed the pathological remodeling of their blood vessels during the development of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) typical for arteriosclerosis (J. Clin. Invest., doi 10.1172/JCI38864). The fraction of contractile vessel muscle cells (VSMCs) was reduced in favour of VSMCs that showed the so-called synthetic phenotype, with reduced contractility and signs of inflammation.After carrying out a proteome analysis, the team headed by Thomas Braun (Max-Planck Institute of Heart and Lung Research) identified angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) as the key protein regulated by the miRNAs. Inhibition of ACE or the AT1-receptor partially reversed the vascular dysfunction, revealing a means of attenuating arteriosclerotic remodeling.