BACKGROUND: Multidrug resistance protein-4 (MRP4) is an ATP binding cassette membrane transporter, actively involved in the efflux of important pharmacological and physiological molecules. Recently, its over-expression has been associated with reduced aspirin (ASA) efficacy after by-pass surgery. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small molecules of non-coding RNA involved in the regulation of many physiological and pathophysiological pathways, are abundant in platelets, and can be modulated by several drugs. In the present study, we assessed the role of platelet miRNAs in modulating MRP4 function in response to ASA. METHODS: MRP4 mRNA expression has been analyzed by RealTime PCR in platelets from patients on chronic ASA treatment versus a control group. A panel of miRNAs was run on the pool of each cohort. MiRNAs validation was performed by RealTime PCR. To verify whether MRP4 is the target of miR-26b also in platelets, miR-26b was transfected in platelet and DAMI cells with miRNA mimic technology. MRP4 expression was evaluated by flow cytometry and western blotting. RESULTS: We observed a higher MRP4 mRNA expression in platelets of patients under ASA treatment compared to the control group (p<0.005). MiR-26b was found significantly down-regulated in patients on ASA treatment as compared to control group (P < 0.005) and this was validated by RealTime PCR. MiR-26b transfection in platelets was associated to a significant down-regulation of MRP4 expression (p<0.005). MiR-26b transfection in DAMI cells was associated to a significant reduction of MRP4 mRNA and protein level (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: We found that miR-26b is down-regulated in platelets in patients on chronic ASA treatment. Importantly, miR-26b can specifically downregulate MRP4. Thus, miR-26b seems to be involved in MRP4 modulation and may contribute to ASA resistance.