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Two MicroRNAs Identify Prediabetes

Serum levels of 2 microRNAs, miR-192 and miR-193b, can be used to identify individuals with prediabetes, researchers report…

The uncontrolled hyperglycemic excursions associated with prediabetes are stressful for the body, and miRNAs are thought to be critical regulators of stress.

Dr. Marcelina Párrizas from Diabetes and Obesity Research Laboratory, Barcelona, Spain and colleagues profiled circulating miRNAs in patients with impaired fasting glucose (IFG), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), and type 2 diabetes in an effort to identify putative biomarkers for prediabetes.

Three miRNAs (miR-150, miR-192, and miR-193b) were significantly increased in the prediabetes groups (IFG and IFT), but remained unchanged from controls in the diabetic patients. The latter two (miR-192 and miR-193b) were retained because of their strong correlation across all samples.

The combination of miR-192 and miR-193b was able to identify the prediabetic phenotype with an AUC of 0.826, and a delta Cycle Threshold (dCT) of

Glucose levels after an oral challenge correlated significantly with the combination of miRNA-192 and miRNA-193b in prediabetic samples, whereas insulin sensitivity correlated only weakly and fasting glucose not at all, the researchers reported. Six prediabetic patients had significantly decreased miR-192 and miR-193b levels after undergoing a therapeutic lifestyle intervention (consisting of a monitored exercise program and diet recommendations) for 16 weeks, suggesting “that abundance of miR-192 and miR-193b in serum correlates with the physiological status of the organism,” the researchers say.

miR-192 and miR-193b levels were also elevated in a mouse model of glucose intolerance; the increase was mitigated by an exercise intervention, “suggesting that this animal model would be well suited to explore the role of these c-miRNAs in the etiopathogeny of glucose intolerance,” the researchers said.

“In summary,” the investigators conclude, “we provide evidence for the existence of a c-miRNA signature for prediabetes, which could be used as a new diagnostic tool, as well as to monitor response to treatment.”

Practice Pearls:

  • Serum levels of 2 microRNAs, can be used to identify individuals with prediabetes.
  • The combination of miR-192 and miR-193b was able to identify the prediabetic phenotype
  • The existence of a c-miRNA signature for prediabetes, could be used as a new diagnostic tool

Dr. Marcelina Párrizas J Clin Endocrinol Metab, pub online Dec. 22, 2014, http://press.endocrine.org/doi/abs/10.1210/jc.2014-2574?