Circulating miRNAs are generic and versatile therapeutic monitoring biomarkers in muscular dystrophies

Sci Rep. 2016 Jun 21;6:28097. doi: 10.1038/srep28097.


The development of medical approaches requires preclinical and clinical trials for assessment of therapeutic efficacy. Such evaluation entails the use of biomarkers, which provide information on the response to the therapeutic intervention. One newly-proposed class of biomarkers is the microRNA (miRNA) molecules. In muscular dystrophies (MD), the dysregulation of miRNAs was initially observed in muscle biopsy and later extended to plasma samples, suggesting that they may be of interest as biomarkers. First, we demonstrated that dystromiRs dysregulation occurs in MD with either preserved or disrupted expression of the dystrophin-associated glycoprotein complex, supporting the utilization of dystromiRs as generic biomarkers in MD. Then, we aimed at evaluation of the capacity of miRNAs as monitoring biomarkers for experimental therapeutic approach in MD. To this end, we took advantage of our previously characterized gene therapy approach in a mouse model for α-sarcoglycanopathy. We identified a dose-response correlation between the expression of miRNAs on both muscle tissue and blood serum and the therapeutic benefit as evaluated by a set of new and classically-used evaluation methods. This study supports the utility of profiling circulating miRNAs for the evaluation of therapeutic outcome in medical approaches for MD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • CD11b Antigen / metabolism
  • Circulating MicroRNA / blood*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dystrophin-Associated Protein Complex / genetics
  • Dystrophin-Associated Protein Complex / metabolism
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Muscular Dystrophies / blood*
  • Muscular Dystrophies / diagnosis*
  • Muscular Dystrophies / genetics
  • Muscular Dystrophies / therapy
  • Sarcoglycans / genetics


  • Biomarkers
  • CD11b Antigen
  • Circulating MicroRNA
  • Dystrophin-Associated Protein Complex
  • Sarcoglycans