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Exosomal miRNA as peripheral biomarkers in Parkinson's disease and progressive supranuclear palsy: A pilot study

      Highlights

      • Non-invasive miRNA-based tests could be used for differential diagnosis.
      • Exosomal microRNAs (miRNAs) in serum are promising biomarker candidates for PSP.
      • Serum samples were analyzed with RT-qPCR to measure levels of selected miRNAs.
      • Differential miRNAs were dysregulated between patients groups and healthy controls.

      Abstract

      Introduction

      Parkinson's disease (PD), a progressive neurodegenerative disease, can be misdiagnosed with atypical conditions such as Progressive Supranuclear Paralysis (PSP) due to overlapping clinical features. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs with a key role in post-transcriptional gene regulation. The aim was to identify a set of differential exosomal miRNAs biomarkers, which may aid in diagnosis.

      Methods

      We analyzed the serum level of 188 miRNAs in a discovery set, by using RTqPCR based TaqMan assay, in a small cohort of healthy controls, PD and PSP patients. Subsequently, the differentially expressed miRNAs, between PSP and PD patients, were further tested in a larger and independent cohort of 33 healthy controls, 40 PD and 20 PSP patients. The most accurate diagnostic exosomal miRNAs classifiers were identified in a logistic regression model.

      Results

      A statistically significant set of three exosomal miRNAs: miR-21-3p, miR-22-3p and miR-223-5p, discriminated PD from HC (area under the curve of 0.75), and a set of three exosomal miRNAs, miR-425-5p, miR-21-3p, and miR-199a-5p, discriminated PSP from PD with good diagnostic accuracy (area under the curve of 0.86). Finally, the classifier that best discriminated PSP from PD consisted of six exosomal miRNAs (area under the curve = 0.91), with diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of 0.89 and 0.90, respectively.

      Conclusions

      Based on our analysis, these data showed that exosomal miRNAs could act as biomarkers to differentiate between PSP and PD.

      Keywords

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