Evaluation of miR-122 as a Serum Biomarker for Hepatotoxicity in Investigative Rat Toxicology Studies.


MicroRNAs are short noncoding RNAs involved in regulation of gene expression. Certain microRNAs, including miR-122, seem to have ideal properties as biomarkers due to good stability, high tissue specificity, and ease of detection across multiple species. Recent reports have indicated that miR-122 is a highly liver-specific marker detectable in serum after liver injury. The purpose of the current study was to assess the performance of miR-122 as a serum biomarker for hepatotoxicity in short-term (5-28 days) repeat-dose rat toxicology studies when benchmarked against routine clinical chemistry and histopathology. A total of 23 studies with multiple dose levels of experimental compounds were examined, and they included animals with or without liver injury and with various hepatic histopathologic changes. Serum miR-122 levels were quantified by reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Increases in circulating miR-122 levels highly correlated with serum elevations of liver enzymes, such as alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and glutamate dehydrogenase (GLDH). Statistical analysis showed that miR-122 outperformed ALT as a biomarker for histopathologically confirmed liver toxicity and was equivalent in performance to AST and GLDH. Additionally, an increase of 4% in predictive accuracy was obtained using a multiparameter approach incorporating miR-122 with ALT, AST, and GLDH. In conclusion, serum miR-122 levels can be utilized as a biomarker of hepatotoxicity in acute and subacute rat toxicology studies, and its performance can rival or exceed those of standard enzyme biomarkers such as the liver transaminases.

DOI: 10.1177/0300985815591076

Cite this paper

@article{Sharapova2016EvaluationOM, title={Evaluation of miR-122 as a Serum Biomarker for Hepatotoxicity in Investigative Rat Toxicology Studies.}, author={Tatyana Sharapova and Viswanath Devanarayan and Bruce E Leroy and Michael J. Liguori and Eric A. G. Blomme and Wayne Buck and J Maher}, journal={Veterinary pathology}, year={2016}, volume={53 1}, pages={211-21} }