Background: MicroRNA (miRNA) has been found in human blood. It has been increasingly suggested that miRNAs may serve as biomarkers for diseases. We examined the potential of circulating miRNA to serve as predictors of atrial fibrillation (AF). Methodology/Principal Findings: During the discovery stage of this project, we used massively parallel signature sequencing (MPSS) to carry out an in-depth analysis of the miRNA expression profile (miRNome) in 5 healthy controls, 5 patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) alone, and 5 patients with persistent atrial fibrillation (PersAF) alone. Twenty-two specific miRNAs were found to be dysregulated in each PAF group, PersAF group, or control group. Four candidate microRNAs (miRNA-146a, miRNA-150, miRNA-19a, and miRNA-375) met our selection criteria and were evaluated in an independent cohort of 90 plasma samples using TaqMan miRNA quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). We found miRNA-150 levels to be reduced by a factor of approximately 17 in PAF relative to controls and a factor of approximately 20 in PersAF relative to controls (P<.0001). Logistic regression analyses were carried out to evaluate the reduced miRNA-150 expression levels (odds ratio [OR] 1.96, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.5 to 3.57, P<0.001), age (OR 1.1, 95% CI 1.36 to 2.73, P<0.001), and Left atrial diameter (LAD) (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.36 to 1.8, P<0.001). Each was independently associated with AF. Much of the identified target genes related to AF were part of the inflammatory response system. We found that plasma levels of CRP were negatively correlated with the plasma levels of miRNA-150. Conclusions/Significance: In summary, we firstly found that plasma miRNA-150 levels in from AF patients were substantially lower than that from healthy people. Circulating reduced miRNA-150 was significantly associated with AF. © 2012 Liu et al.
Liu, Z., Zhou, C., Liu, Y., Wang, S., Ye, P., Miao, X., & Xia, J. (2012). The Expression Levels of Plasma micoRNAs in Atrial Fibrillation Patients. PLoS ONE, 7(9). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0044906