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Alterations in the MicroRNA of the Blood of Autism Spectrum Disorder Patients: Effects on Epigenetic Regulation and Potential Biomarkers.

Behav Sci (Basel). 2018 Aug 15;8(8):

Authors: Vaccaro TDS, Sorrentino JM, Salvador S, Veit T, Souza DO, de Almeida RF

Aims: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to a group of heterogeneous brain-based neurodevelopmental disorders with different levels of symptom severity. Given the challenges, the clinical diagnosis of ASD is based on information gained from interviews with patients’ parents. The heterogeneous pathogenesis of this disorder appears to be driven by genetic and environmental interactions, which also plays a vital role in predisposing individuals to ASD with different commitment levels. In recent years, it has been proposed that epigenetic modifications directly contribute to the pathogenesis of several neurodevelopmental disorders, such as ASD. The microRNAs (miRNAs) comprises a species of short noncoding RNA that regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally and have an essential functional role in the brain, particularly in neuronal plasticity and neuronal development, and could be involved in ASD pathophysiology. The aim of this study is to evaluate the expression of blood miRNA in correlation with clinical findings in patients with ASD, and to find possible biomarkers for the disorder. Results: From a total of 26 miRNA studied, seven were significantly altered in ASD patients, when compared to the control group: miR34c-5p, miR92a-2-5p, miR-145-5p and miR199a-5p were up-regulated and miR27a-3p, miR19-b-1-5p and miR193a-5p were down-regulated in ASD patients. Discussion: The main targets of these miRNAs are involved in immunological developmental, immune response and protein synthesis at transcriptional and translational levels. The up-regulation of both miR-199a-5p and miR92a-2a and down-regulation of miR-193a and miR-27a was observed in AD patients, and may in turn affect the SIRT1, HDAC2, and PI3K/Akt-TSC:mTOR signaling pathways. Furthermore, MeCP2 is a target of miR-199a-5p, and is involved in Rett Syndrome (RTT), which possibly explains the autistic phenotype in male patients with this syndrome.

PMID: 30111726 [PubMed]

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