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Julian Friedrich, David H. W. Steel, Reinier O. Schlingemann, Michael J. Koss, Hans-Peter Hammes, Guido Krenning, Ingeborg Klaassen; microRNA Expression Profile in the Vitreous of Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy Patients and Differences from Patients Treated with Anti-VEGF Therapy. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2020;9(6):16. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.9.6.16.
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microRNAs (miRNAs) mediate the pathological mechanisms of diabetic retinopathy. In this study, we compared miRNA expression profiles in the vitreous between patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) and patients with a macular hole as non-diabetic controls, and between PDR patients treated with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) therapy and untreated PDR patients.
Vitreous samples of non-diabetic and PDR patients were screened for miRNAs with quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) panels. miRNA candidates were validated in vitreous samples of a second, independent cohort. In addition, the effect of anti-VEGF therapy was investigated in the vitreous of a third study population consisting of PDR patients who had not received anti-VEGF therapy and PDR patients who had received preoperative anti-VEGF therapy.
During screening, seven miRNAs were found to be significantly higher in the vitreous of PDR patients, whereas two miRNAs were found to be significantly lower compared with non-diabetic controls. Validating the expression of these miRNAs in a second cohort resulted in the identification of six miRNAs that were expressed at significantly higher rates in the vitreous of PDR patients: hsa-miR-20a-5p, hsa-miR-23b-3p, hsa-miR-142-3p, hsa-miR-185-5p, hsa-miR-326, and hsa-miR-362-5p. Among these six miRNAs, hsa-miR-23b-3p levels were lower in the anti-VEGF-treated group of PDR patients compared with untreated PDR patients.
In this study, we identified six miRNAs that are expressed more highly in PDR patients and one miRNA that is expressed at a lower levels in anti-VEGF-treated PDR patients.
miRNAs identified in the vitreous of PDR patients may improve our understanding of the mechanisms leading to PDR.
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