Circulating miRNA profiles in patients with metabolic syndrome

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Dec;97(12):E2271-6. doi: 10.1210/jc.2012-1996. Epub 2012 Oct 2.


Context: Coordinated interplay of dysregulated microRNAs in isolated metabolic disorder is implicated in the pathogenesis of metabolic syndrome.

Objective: The objective of the study was to characterize microRNA expression in the blood and exosomes of individuals with metabolic syndrome and compare them with those manifesting one of the metabolic vascular risk factors (type 2 diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, or hypertension). RESEARCH DESIGN/SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: A total of 265 participants were recruited in a health screening and characterized into distinct groups as follows: 1) healthy controls (n = 46); 2) metabolic syndrome (n = 50); 3) type 2 diabetes (n = 50); 4) hypercholesterolemia (n = 89); and 5) hypertension (n = 30). Total RNA was subjected to microRNA profiling, and a panel of significantly dysregulated microRNAs was validated using quantitative PCR.

Main outcome measures: Analysis of profiling data characterized unique pools of miRNAs that could categorize the different risk factors of metabolic syndrome.

Results: We have identified miR-197, miR-23a, and miR-509-5p as potential contributors of dyslipidemia in metabolic syndrome (correlation with body mass index; P = 0.029, 0.021, and 0.042, respectively) and miR-130a and miR-195 as contributors of hypertension (correlation with blood pressure; P = 0.019 and 0.045, respectively). A plausible association of miR-27a and miR-320a with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes patients has also been found because these miRNAs remained dysregulated in both cases (correlation with fasting glucose; P = 0.010 and 0.016, respectively).

Conclusions: Significant dysregulation of seven candidate microRNAs has been found to be associated with risks involved in the manifestation of metabolic syndrome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / genetics
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / blood
  • Hypercholesterolemia / complications
  • Hypercholesterolemia / genetics
  • Hypertension / blood
  • Hypertension / complications
  • Hypertension / genetics
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / etiology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / genetics*
  • MicroRNAs / blood*
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • Microarray Analysis
  • Models, Biological
  • Risk Factors
  • Transcriptome
  • Validation Studies as Topic


  • MicroRNAs