INTRODUCTION: Micro RNAs (miRNAs) are gaining acceptance as novel biomarkers for the autoimmune disorders. However, miRNA profiles have not been investigated in individuals at risk of or diagnosed with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). To study the expression pattern of miRNAs in plasma obtained from patients with T1DM and compare with matched healthy controls.
METHODS: Equal numbers of patients with T1DM (90) and healthy-matched control children (90) were assessed for the expression profile of plasma miRNAs including miRNA-101-5p, miRNA-146-5p, miRNA-21-5p, miRNA-375, miRNA-126, and Let7a-5p using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction methodology and quantitative real-time testing.
RESULTS: Analysis showed that miRNA-101, miRNA-21 and miRNA-375 were highly expressed, whereas, miRNA-146-5p, miRNA-126, and miRNA-Let7a-5p showed significantly low levels of expression in T1DM patients compared to controls (p<0.05). In addition, miRNA-101 and miRNA-146 correlated with age at diagnosis of T1DM and disease duration, respectively. Furthermore, multivariate analysis showed that miRNA-126 and Let7a-5p had a significant negative correlation with mean hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) values.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: Dysregulation of the six miRNAs analyzed suggested a possible role as biomarkers in T1DM. miRNA-101 was correlated with age at diagnosis while miRNA-146 correlated with disease duration. Two further miRNAs correlated with the existing biomarker, HbA1c.