Specific Signatures of Serum miRNAs as Potential Biomarkers to Discriminate Clinically Similar Neurodegenerative and Vascular-Related Diseases

Cristina Barbagallo, Giovanni Mostile, Gloriangela Baglieri, Flavia Giunta, Antonina Luca, Loredana Raciti, Mario Zappia, Michele Purrello, Marco Ragusa, Alessandra Nicoletti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) are age-dependent; among them, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) are the most frequent. Similarly, cerebrovascular damage can induce the development of vascular-related disorders that share common features with AD and PD, respectively, named vascular dementia (VD) and vascular parkinsonism (VP). To date, ND diagnosis is mainly clinical; therefore, since these disorders show similar symptoms, their correct discrimination may be difficult. We detected 23 ND-associated microRNAs (miRNAs) by literature mining and investigated their serum expression in a cohort of 139 patients including AD, PD, VD, and VP patients and healthy controls. TaqMan RT-PCR data showed that miR-23a upregulation was associated with an ongoing neurodegenerative process, similar to miR-22* and miR-29a, while let-7d, miR-15b, miR-24, miR-142-3p, miR-181c, and miR-222 showed an altered expression in Parkinson-like phenotypes, as well as miR-34b, miR-125b, and miR-130b in Alzheimer-like disorders. By computing logistic regression models and ROC curves, we identified signatures of neuro-miRNAs specific for each disease, showing good diagnostic performance. Interestingly, we found that miR-23a, miR-29a, miR-34b, and miR-125b exhibited a different distribution between exosomes and vesicle-free serum, suggesting a heterogeneity of secretion for these miRNAs. Our results suggest that miRNA signatures could discriminate in a non-invasive manner neurodegenerative disorders, thus improving clinical diagnoses.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCellular and Molecular Neurobiology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Exosomes
  • microRNAs
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Vascular dementia
  • Vascular parkinsonism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology

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