The association of circulating miR-191 and miR-375 expression levels with markers of insulin resistance in overweight children: an exploratory analysis of the I.Family Study.Genes Nutr. 2021 Jul 09; 16(1):10.GN
In recent years, the exciting emergence of circulating miRNAs as stable, reproducible, and consistent among individuals has opened a promising research opportunity for the detection of non-invasive biomarkers. A firm connection has been established between circulating miRNAs and glycaemic as well as metabolic homeostasis, showing that levels of specific miRNAs vary under different physio-pathological conditions.
In this pilot study, we investigated the expression of candidate miRNAs, hsa-miR-191-3p and hsa-miR-375, in relation to biomarkers associated with insulin sensitivity in a subgroup (n=58) of subjects participating to the European I.Family Study, a project aimed to assess the determinants of eating behaviour in children and adolescents and related health outcomes. The sample included overweight/obese children/adolescents since overweight/obesity is a known risk factor for impaired glucose homeostasis and metabolic disorders. Biological targets of candidate miRNAs were also explored in silico.
We observed a significant association of the two miRNAs and early changes in glycaemic homeostasis, independent of covariates including country of origin, age, BMI z-score, puberty status, highest educational level of parents, total energy intake, energy from fats, energy from carbohydrates, and energy from proteins.
Identification of circulating miRNAs associated with insulin impairment may offer novel approaches of assessing early variations in insulin sensitivity and provide evidence about the molecular mechanisms connected to early changes in glycaemic homeostasis.
ISRCTN, ISRCTN62310987. Retrospectively registered, http://isrctn.com/ISRCTN62310987.