Primary lymphomas of the central nervous system (PCNSL) are highly aggressive tumors affecting exclusively the CNS, meninges, and eyes. PCNSL must be separated from secondary spread of systemic lymphoma to the CNS (SCNSL), which may occur at diagnosis or relapse of systemic lymphomas. At present, there are no valid methods to distinguish PCNSL from SCNSL based on tumor biopsy because of similar histological presentation. However, SCNSL and PCNSL are different in terms of prognosis and adequate therapy protocols. MicroRNA expression profiles of CSF samples collected from SCNSL and PCNSL patients were compared using microRNA arrays. MiR-30c revealed the largest differential expression and was selected for validation by RT-PCR on 61 CSF samples from patients with PCNSL and 14 samples from SCNSL. MiR-30c was significantly increased in patients with SCNSL compared to PCNSL (p < 0.001). MiR-30c levels in CSF enabled the differentiation of patients with PCNSL from SCNSL with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.86, with a sensitivity of 90.9% and a specificity of 85.5%. Our data suggest that miR-30c detected in the CSF can serve as biomarker for distinction between PCNSL and SCNSL. The validation in a larger cohort is needed. With respect to its function, miR-30c may facilitate lymphoma cells to engraft into CNS by interaction with CELSR3 gene that controls the function of ependymal cilia and, thus, affects the circulation of CSF.
Keywords: Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF); MiR-30c; MicroRNA (miRNA); Primary central nervous system lymphoma; Secondary central nervous system lymphoma; qRT-PCR.