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The association of circulating miR-191 and miR-375 expression levels with markers of insulin resistance in overweight children: an exploratory analysis of the I.Family Study

  • Iacomino, Giuseppe1
  • Lauria, Fabio1
  • Russo, Paola1
  • Venezia, Antonella1
  • Iannaccone, Nunzia1
  • Marena, Pasquale1
  • Ahrens, Wolfgang2
  • De Henauw, Stefaan3
  • Molnár, Dénes4
  • Eiben, Gabriele5
  • Foraita, Ronja2
  • Hebestreit, Antje2
  • Kourides, Giannis6
  • Moreno, Luis A.7
  • Veidebaum, Toomas8
  • Siani, Alfonso1
  • 1 Institute of Food Sciences, National Research Council, ISA-CNR, via Roma 64, Avellino, 83100, Italy , Avellino (Italy)
  • 2 Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology, BIPS, Achterstraße 30, Bremen, 28359, Germany , Bremen (Germany)
  • 3 University of Ghent, C. Heymanslaan 10, 4K3, Ghent, 9000, Belgium , Ghent (Belgium)
  • 4 University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary , Pécs (Hungary)
  • 5 Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Medicinaregatan 3, Göteborg, 413 90, Sweden , Göteborg (Sweden)
  • 6 Research and Education Institute of Child Health, ave, #205 2015, Strovolos, Limassol, 138, Cyprus , Limassol (Cyprus)
  • 7 University of Zaragoza, Domingo Miral, s/n, Zaragoza, 50009, Spain , Zaragoza (Spain)
  • 8 National Institute for Health Development, Hiiu 42, Tallinn, 11619, Estonia , Tallinn (Estonia)
Published Article
Genes & Nutrition
Publication Date
Jul 09, 2021
DOI: 10.1186/s12263-021-00689-1
Springer Nature
  • Research


BackgroundIn recent years, the exciting emergence of circulating miRNAs as stable, reproducible, and consistent among individuals has opened a promising research opportunity for the detection of non-invasive biomarkers. A firm connection has been established between circulating miRNAs and glycaemic as well as metabolic homeostasis, showing that levels of specific miRNAs vary under different physio-pathological conditions.ObjectiveIn this pilot study, we investigated the expression of candidate miRNAs, hsa-miR-191-3p and hsa-miR-375, in relation to biomarkers associated with insulin sensitivity in a subgroup (n=58) of subjects participating to the European I.Family Study, a project aimed to assess the determinants of eating behaviour in children and adolescents and related health outcomes. The sample included overweight/obese children/adolescents since overweight/obesity is a known risk factor for impaired glucose homeostasis and metabolic disorders. Biological targets of candidate miRNAs were also explored in silico.ResultsWe observed a significant association of the two miRNAs and early changes in glycaemic homeostasis, independent of covariates including country of origin, age, BMI z-score, puberty status, highest educational level of parents, total energy intake, energy from fats, energy from carbohydrates, and energy from proteins.ConclusionIdentification of circulating miRNAs associated with insulin impairment may offer novel approaches of assessing early variations in insulin sensitivity and provide evidence about the molecular mechanisms connected to early changes in glycaemic homeostasis.Trial registrationISRCTN, ISRCTN62310987. Retrospectively registered,

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