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MicroRNAs in the modulation of diabetic retinopathy

Poster Details

First Author: L.Di Antonio ITALY

Co Author(s):    L. Toto   R. Mastropasqua   S. Sergiacomo   A. Mastropasqua   E. Doronzo   L. Mastropasqua   0   0 0   0 0   0 0   0 0

Abstract Details


MicroRNAs are a new class of post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression. Evidence demonstrates that in diabetes circulating miRNAs expression is impaired. The aim of this study is to evaluate the role of miRNAs in the development of diabetic retinopathy (DR). However, no evidence is still available on circulating miRNAs profile in DR


Settings: Ophtahlmology Clinic, Department of Science of Ageing, University “G. d’Annunzio” of Chieti-Pescara.


Thirty patients with diabetes mellitus were classified for presence and grade of DR using a five-stage disease severity scale [no DR, mild, moderate and severe nonproliferative DR(NPDR) and proliferative (PDR)] by means of fundus ophthalmoscopy. Fluorescein angiography was also performed to assess presence and grade of retinal ischaemia. All patients underwent plasma miRNAs analysis. Plasma miRNAs were extracted according with a previously validated methods. A wide microRNA expression profiling was performed on pooled samples. Bioinformatics was used to identify the putative targets of the dysregulated miRNAs. Then, these miRNAs will be validated by qPCR on each sample.


preliminary data on microarray analysis suggest a dysregulation of circulating miRNAs in patients with retinopathy. In particular, in severe NPDR e PDR retinopathy, the miR-766 and -346 appear to be up-regulated whereas let-7, miR-150, and -23a appear to be down-regulated. In contrast, mild and moderate NPDR seems to be associated with a down-regulation of miR-23a, -92a, and -16 and an up-regulation of miR-345, -495 and -33a. Interestingly, the predicted targets of these miRNAs are involved in inflammatory response (miR-150, -346, -16), angiogenesis (let-7, -92a), retina development (miR-23a) and metabolism (miR-33a, let-7).


Diabetic retinopathy is associated to a deregulation expression of circulating miRNAs potentially involved in key steps of disease progression. If confirmed in the on-going validation step, they will identify new potential biomarkers and improve our knowledge on pathophysiology of diabetic retinopathy.

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