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Nucleic Acid Ther. 2012 Oct;22(5):289-94. doi: 10.1089/nat.2012.0381. Epub 2012 Sep 5.

Role of regulatory micro RNAs in type 2 diabetes mellitus-related inflammation.

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  • 1Semmelweis University, Institute of Pathophysiology, Budapest, Hungary.


Micro RNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding RNAs with the function of post-transcriptional gene expression regulation. Micro RNAs may function in networks, forming a complex relationship with diseases. Alterations of specific miRNA levels have significant correlation with diseases of divergent origin, such as diabetes. Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) has an increasing worldwide epidemic with serious complications. However, T2DM is a chronic process, and from early metabolic alterations to manifest complications decades may pass, during which our diagnostic arsenal is limited. Micro RNAs may thus serve as novel diagnostic tools as well as therapeutic targets in pre-diabetes. Recent Fundings: Micro RNAs (miRNAs) involved in inflammatory processes contributing to the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) published mostly in the past 2 years. MiRNAs are involved in such early diabetic processes as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and inflammation of the visceral adipose tissue. Evidence is emerging regarding the continuous spectrum between type 1 diabetes (T1DM) and T2DM being just 2 endpoints of the same disease with different genetic background. Thus, miRNA regulation of autoimmune components in T2DM may shed new light on pathogenesis. Finally, the involvement of miRNAs in inflammation as a key driving force of diabetic complications is also summarized.


Inflammation is emerging as a central pathophysiological process in the development of T2DM. Visceral adipose tissue inflammation and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis together with insulitis are probably the first events leading to a complex metabolic disorder. These early events may be diagnosed or even influenced through our increasing knowledge about the involvement of post-transcriptional gene regulation by miRNAs.

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