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Hari Jayaram, Jay I. Phillips, Diana C. Lozano, Tiffany E. Choe, William O. Cepurna, Elaine C. Johnson, John C. Morrison, Devin M. Gattey, Julie A. Saugstad, Kate E. Keller; Comparison of MicroRNA Expression in Aqueous Humor of Normal and Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma Patients Using PCR Arrays: A Pilot Study. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(7):2884-2890. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.17-21844.
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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, endogenous noncoding RNAs that have been detected in human aqueous humor (AH). Prior studies have pooled samples to obtain sufficient quantities for analysis or used next-generation sequencing. Here, we used PCR arrays with preamplification to identify and compare miRNAs from individual AH samples between patients with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and normal controls.
AH was collected before cataract surgery from six stable, medically treated POAG patients and eight age-matched controls. Following reverse transcription and preamplification, individual patient samples were profiled on Taqman Low Density MicroRNA Array Cards. Differentially expressed miRNAs were stratified for fold changes larger than ±2 and for significance of P < 0.05. Significant Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathways influenced by the differentially expressed miRNAs were identified using the predicted target module of the miRWalk 2.0 database.
This approach detected 181 discrete miRNAs, which were consistently expressed across all samples of both experimental groups. Significant up-regulation of miR-518d and miR-143, and significant down-regulation of miR-660, was observed in the AH of POAG patients compared with controls. These miRNAs were predicted to reduce cell proliferation and extracellular matrix remodeling, endocytosis, Wnt signaling, ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis, and adherens junction function.
This pilot study demonstrates that miRNA expression within the AH of POAG patients differs from age-matched controls. AH miRNAs exhibit potential as biomarkers of POAG, which merits further investigation in a larger case-controlled study. This technique provides a cost-effective and sensitive approach to assay miRNAs in individual patient samples without the need for pooling.
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