Glaucoma is a progressive optic neuropathy and is one of the leading causes of blindness in the industrialized countries. The aim of this study is to investigate microRNA (miRNA) regulation in glaucoma and other neurodegenerative diseases, that share similar pathways, by means of in silico approaches such as bibliographic search and access to bioinformatic resources. First of all, data mining was carried out on Human miRNA Disease Database (HMDD) and miR2Disease databases. Then, predictions of deregulated miRNAs were carried out accessing to microrna.org database. Finally, the potential combinatorial effect of miRNAs, on regulation of biochemical pathways, was studied by an enrichment analysis performed by DIANA-miRPath v.2.0. We found, from literature search, 8 deregulated miRNAs in glaucoma and 9 and 23 in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD), respectively. One miRNA is commonly deregulated in glaucoma and AMD (miR-23a). Two miRNAs (miR-29a, miR-29b) are common to glaucoma and AD, and four miRNAs were identified to be commonly deregulated in AMD and AD (miR-9, miR-21, miR-34a, miR-146a). The match of the miRNA common to glaucoma and the other two neurodegenerative diseases (AMD and AD) did not generate any output. Enrichment of information has been reached through miRNAs prediction: 88 predicted miRNAs are common to glaucoma and AMD, 19 are common to glaucoma and AD, and 9 are common to AMD and AD. Indeed, predicted miRNAs common to the three neurodegenerative diseases are nine (miR-107, miR-137, miR-146a, miR-181c, miR-197, miR-21, miR-22, miR-590, miR-9). DIANA-miRPath predicted that those nine miRNAs might regulate pathways involved in inflammation. The findings hereby obtained provide a valuable hint to assess deregulation of specific miRNA, as potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets, in glaucoma and other neurodegenerative diseases by means of preclinical and clinical studies.
Keywords: Glaucoma; MicroRNA; Neurodegenerative diseases; Retinal disorders.
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