Sandra Van der Auwera, Sabine Ameling, Katharina Wittfeld, Stefan Frenzel, Robin Bülow, Matthias Nauck, Henry Völzke, Uwe Völker, Hans J. Grabe

Circulating microRNA miR-425-5p Associated with Brain White Matter Lesions and Inflammatory Processes

  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Spectroscopy
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine
  • Catalysis

White matter lesions (WML) emerge as a consequence of vascular injuries in the brain. While they are commonly observed in aging, associations have been established with neurodegenerative and neurological disorders such as dementia or stroke. Despite substantial research efforts, biological mechanisms are incomplete and biomarkers indicating WMLs are lacking. Utilizing data from the population-based Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP), our objective was to identify plasma-circulating micro-RNAs (miRNAs) associated with WMLs, thus providing a foundation for a comprehensive biological model and further research. In linear regression models, direct association and moderating factors were analyzed. In 648 individuals, we identified hsa-miR-425-5p as directly associated with WMLs. In subsequent analyses, hsa-miR-425-5p was found to regulate various genes associated with WMLs with particular emphasis on the SH3PXD2A gene. Furthermore, miR-425-5p was found to be involved in immunological processes. In addition, noteworthy miRNAs associated with WMLs were identified, primarily moderated by the factors of sex or smoking status. All identified miRNAs exhibited a strong over-representation in neurodegenerative and neurological diseases. We introduced hsa-miR-425-5p as a promising candidate in WML research probably involved in immunological processes. Mir-425-5p holds the potential as a biomarker of WMLs, shedding light on potential mechanisms and pathways in vascular dementia.

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