MicroRNA-122 predicts essential hypertension in young people
High expression levels of microRNA (miR)-122 may be an indicator of essential hypertension (EH), particularly in younger people, a recent study has found.
Researchers conducted a case-control study including 65 EH patients (mean age, 45±12.11 years) and 61 controls (mean age, 45±14.16 years). Quantitative real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) were used to measure serum levels of miR-122 and its protein target, high-affinity cationic amino acid transporter 1 (CAT-1).
At baseline, plasma concentrations of miR-122 (p=0.001) and CAT-1 (p=0.018) were significantly different between cases and controls. Age also appeared to be an important factor. In younger participants, CAT-1 was enriched (p=0.003), while miR-122 was suppressed (p=0.001).
Moreover, CAT-1 plasma levels in younger participants were correlated with both systolic (SBP; p<0.05) and diastolic (DBP; p<0.05) blood pressure. No such interaction was found in older participants. MiR-122 showed a similar pattern of association, which was seen in the young subgroup (p=0.016) but not in the old.
Expression levels of miR-122 and CAT-1 also emerged as strong predictors of EH. In the overall cohort, the areas under the curve (AUCs) for miR-122, CAT-1, and their combination were 0.68, 0.62, and 0.69, respectively. This likewise turned out to be more pronounced in younger (AUCs, 0.79, 0.75, and 0.85, respectively) than in older (AUCs, 0.61, 0.55, and 0.63, respectively) patients.
“Further research with more patients and controls is needed to evaluate the importance of the altered expression of miR-122 and CAT-1 in EH. In this way, a potential method for the clinical diagnosis of EH and therapeutics based on these results can be designed,” the researchers said.