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PLoS One. 2011;6(8):e23925. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0023925. Epub 2011 Aug 24.

Early second-trimester serum miRNA profiling predicts gestational diabetes mellitus.

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Laboratory of Reproductive Medicine, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China.



Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is one type of diabetes that presents during pregnancy and significantly increases the risk of a number of adverse consequences for the fetus and mother. The microRNAs (miRNA) have recently been demonstrated to abundantly and stably exist in serum and to be potentially disease-specific. However, no reported study investigates the associations between serum miRNA and GDM.


We systematically used the TaqMan Low Density Array followed by individual quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assays to screen miRNAs in serum collected at 16-19 gestational weeks. The expression levels of three miRNAs (miR-132, miR-29a and miR-222) were significantly decreased in GDM women with respect to the controls in similar gestational weeks in our discovery evaluation and internal validation, and two miRNAs (miR-29a and miR-222) were also consistently validated in two-centric external validation sample sets. In addition, the knockdown of miR-29a could increase Insulin-induced gene 1 (Insig1) expression level and subsequently the level of Phosphoenolpyruvate Carboxy Kinase2 (PCK2) in HepG2 cell lines.


Serum miRNAs are differentially expressed between GDM women and controls and could be candidate biomarkers for predicting GDM. The utility of miR-29a, miR-222 and miR-132 as serum-based non-invasive biomarkers warrants further evaluation and optimization.

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