Published online Aug 27, 2014. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v6.i8.613
Revised: March 13, 2014
Accepted: July 12, 2014
Published online: August 27, 2014
AIM: To identify novel non-invasive biomarkers for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
METHODS: Twenty patients with histologically proven NAFLD and 20 controls were included. All NAFLD cases were scored using the NAFLD activity score. The relative expressions of miR-197, miR-146b, miR-10b, miR-181d, miR-34a, miR-122, miR-99a and miR-29a were analyzed using real-time polymerase chain reaction.
RESULTS: Serum levels of miR-181d, miR-99a, miR-197 and miR-146b were significantly lower in biopsy-proven NAFLD patients than in the healthy controls. Serum levels of miR-197 and miR-10b were inversely correlated with degree of inflammation and miR-181d and miR-99a were inversely correlated with serum gamma glutamyl transferase levels in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis patients.
CONCLUSION: NAFLD is associated with altered serum miRNA expression pattern. This study provides clues for defining the non-invasive diagnosis of NAFLD.
Core tip: Due to the limitations of liver biopsy, the use of non-invasive markers has emerged in recent years. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of naturally occurring small noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression. Altered miRNA expression has been reported in animal and human liver samples in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). There is, however, only limited information on their detection in blood and their correlation with histological disease severity in patients with NAFLD. For this reason, we measured the serum levels of some miRNAs in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) patients. Of these microRNAs, miR-181d, miR-99a, miR-197 and miR-146b were expressed at lower levels in NASH patients than in controls. Serum levels of miR-197 and miR-10b were inversely correlated with degree of inflammation and miR-181d and miR-99a were inversely correlated with serum gamma glutamyl transferase levels in NASH patients.