Analysis of the differential expression of circulating microRNAs during the progression of hepatic fibrosis in patients with chronic hepatitis B virus infection
- Q Zhang
- Mol Med Rep
Early diagnosis of liver fibrosis is critical for early intervention and prognosis of various chronic liver diseases. Conventional repeated histological assessment is impractical due to the associated invasiveness. In the current study, we evaluated circulating miR-185 as a potential biomarker to predict initiation and progression of liver fibrosis. We found that miR-185 was significantly up-regulated in blood specimens from patients with HBV-liver fibrosis and rats with liver fibrosis, the miR-185 levels were correlated with liver fibrosis progression, but not with the different viral loads in HBV-infected patients. miR-185 was observed in collagen deposition regions during advanced liver fibrosis. We found that differences in miR-185 levels facilitated the discrimination between early-staged or advanced-staged liver fibrosis and the healthy controls with high specificity, sensitivity, and likelihood ratio using receiver-operator characteristic analysis. miR-185 targeted SREBF1, and increased expression of COL1A1 and a-SMA genes that are hallmarks of liver fibrosis. Our data supported that circulating miR-185 levels could be used as potential biomarkers for the early diagnosis of liver fibrosis.