Francisco J. Ortega, Ph.D., and colleagues from the Institut d'Investagacio Biomedica de Girona in Spain studied circulating miRNA in 12 men, six of whom had normal glucose tolerance and the other six who had type 2 diabetes. The association of 10 circulating miRNAs with type 2 diabetes was also verified cross-sectionally in another sample of 45 men with normal glucose tolerance and 48 men with type 2 diabetes. A longitudinal validation was carried out in 35 patients with type 2 diabetes in a randomized, three month long metformin trial. Furthermore, circulating miRNAs were studied in seven healthy participants before and after a six hour hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp and insulin plus intralipid/heparin infusion.
Researchers identified increases in three miRNAs and decreases in seven miRNAs in patients with type 2 diabetes. They found that miR-140-5p and miR-423-5p independently accounted for 49.5% of fasting glucose variance after controlling for confounders. These two specific miRNAs along with miR-195 and miR-126 were specific for type 2 diabetes with 89.2% accuracy. Significant reduction in fasting glucose, glycated hemoglobin, and changes in circulating miR-192, miR-140-5p, and miR-22 were seen with metformin but not placebo. Reduction in miR-222 was seen with insulin infusion during clamp, while increases in circulating miR-222 and miR-140-5p were seen with the intralipid/heparin mixture. These results show that there is a close association between circulating miRNAs and type 2 diabetes.
Levels of circulating miRNAs vary with insulin action
There is an association between circulating miRNAs and type 2 diabetes as they may play a potentially important role in insulin sensitivity
"Circulating MicroRNAs Linked to Type 2 Diabetes." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24478399
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