Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a neurodegenerative disease that belongs to the α synucleinopathies. Clinically, there is an overlap between MSA and Parkinson's disease (PD), especially at the early disease stage. However, these two pathologies differ in terms of disease progression. Currently, no biomarker exists to differentiate MSA from PD. MicroRNAs are non-coding RNAs implicated in gene expression regulation. MiRNAs modulate cellular activity and they control a range of physiological and pathological functions. miRNAs are found in biofluids, such as blood, serum, plasma, saliva, and cerebrospinal fluid. Many groups, including ours, found that circulating miRNAs are differently expressed in blood, plasma, serum and cerebrospinal fluid of PD and MSA patients. In the present study, our primary aim was to determine if serum mir-30-5p and mir-148b-5p can be used as biomarkers for early diagnosis of PD and/or MSA. Our secondary goal was to determine if serum levels of those miRNAs can be correlated with the patients' clinical profile. Using quantitative PCR (qPCR), we evaluated expression levels of miR-30c-5p and miR148b-5p in serum samples from PD (n = 56), MSA (n = 49), and healthy control (n = 50) subjects. We have found that miR-30c-5p is significantly upregulated in MSA if compared with PD and healthy control subjects. Moreover, serum miR-30c-5p levels correlate with disease duration in both MSA and PD. No significant difference was found in miR-148b-5p among MSA, PD and healthy control subjects. Our results suggest a possible role of serum miR-30-5p as a biomarker for diagnosis and progression of MSA.
Keywords: Biomarker; MiR-30c-5p; MiRNAs; Multiple system atrophy; Parkinson’s disease; Synucleinopathies.