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Circulating microRNA Signatures Associated with Childhood Asthma by Yahong Wang, Lawei Yang, Peng Li, Haili Huang, Tie Liu, Huijuan He, Ziying Lin, Yun Jiang, Nina Ren, Bin Wu, David W Kamp, Jianxin Tan, Gang Liu

Backgroud: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) exist stably and reproducibly in plasma and may be used as biomarkers for various diseases. Little is known about circulating miRNAs in the peripheral blood of juvenile patients with asthma.
Methods: In this study, we used hybridization arrays to compare the miRNA expression profiles among 6 juvenile patients with or without asthma. Using quantitative PCR (qPCR), we verified the expression levels of these miRNAs in plasma from patients with asthma (n = 40) and healthy subjects (n = 14).
Results: Our results showed that the levels of plasma miR-Let7C, miR-486, and miR-1260a in childhood asthma patients were significantly higher than in healthy controls (p < 0.01). Additionally, miR-1260a is correlated with the treatment schedule of these patients and patients with long treatment times had higher expression of miR1260a than short treatment times; miR494 was significantly associated with challenge, and miR-3162-3p was significantly associated with MEF25 in asthma patients suggesting a potential correlation of miRNA levels with clinical disease parameters. Receiver operator characteristic analysis confirmed that the levels of miR-3162-3p could be used to discriminate childhood asthma patients from healthy subjects (area under the curve of 0.821), suggesting it may be a potential diagnostic biomarker.
Conclusions: These results indicate that circulating miR-3162-3p and miR-1260a should be further evaluated as potential non-invasive biomarkers in diagnosis and treatment for childhood asthma.

DOI: 10.7754/Clin.Lab.2014.141020