Involvement of MicroRNAs in Diabetes and Its Complications

Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1617:225-239. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7046-9_17.


Diabetes is a severe condition worldwide. It is characterized by chronic hyperglycemia and is caused by defects in insulin production, secretion, and action. Both genetic and environmental factors contribute to the development of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The pathogenesis of diabetes is complex and the underlying molecular mechanisms are only partially understood. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play a fundamental role in diabetes and its complications. This chapter focuses on the dysregulation of miRNAs involved in the regulation of pancreatic islet insulin production and secretion as well as action and signaling in peripheral tissues. The roles of miRNAs in the development of diabetic complications are also discussed. Modulating miRNA expression, by either upregulation or inhibition, holds a promise as a strategy for treating this metabolic disease.

Keywords: Diabetes; Diabetic complications; Glucose homeostasis; Insulin; Insulin resistance; MicroRNA.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Complications / genetics
  • Diabetes Complications / metabolism
  • Diabetes Complications / pathology
  • Diabetes Complications / therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus / genetics*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus / pathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Glucose / genetics
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin / genetics
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin Resistance / genetics
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / pathology
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism


  • Insulin
  • MicroRNAs
  • Glucose