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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014 May;99(5):E766-74. doi: 10.1210/jc.2013-1629. Epub 2014 Feb 11.

Expression profiles of six circulating microRNAs critical to atherosclerosis in patients with subclinical hypothyroidism: a clinical study.

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Departments of Endocrinology (X.Z., S.S., H.G., C.Y., X.J., L.G., J.Z.), Sonography (Y.Y.), and Clinic Laboratory (Z.L.), and Central Laboratory (L.G.), Shandong Provincial Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, and Shandong Clinical Medical Center of Endocrinology and Metabolism (X.Z., S.S., H.G., C.Y., X.J., J.Z.), Institute of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Shandong Academy of Clinical Medicine, Jinan 250021, China; Department of Endocrinology (X.Z., Y.D.), the Affiliated Hospital of Taishan Medical University, Tai'an 271000, China; Department of Endocrinology (H.G.), Affiliated Hospital of Jining Medical University, Jining 272029, China; and Department of Preventive Medicine (C.W.), Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jinan 250355, China.



Increasing evidence shows that subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) is associated with atherosclerosis (ATH), but the association remains controversial. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been proved to be involved in atherosclerosis and dyslipidemia as gene regulators.


The objective of the study was to determine the expression profiles of six serum miRNAs critical to atherosclerosis in SCH patients and reanalyze the association between atherosclerosis and SCH from a new perspective. OUTCOMES, DESIGN, AND PARTICIPANTS: MicroRNA profiling analysis was performed by real-time PCR in normal control subjects (NC; n = 22); patients with subclinical hypothyroidism alone (SCH; n = 20); SCH patients plus atherosclerosis (SCH+ATH; n = 21); and patients with atherosclerosis but without subclinical hypothyroidism (ATH; n = 22).


MiR-21-5p was up-regulated in SCH, SCH+ATH, and ATH groups than in the NC group. In addition, expression levels of miR-21-5p in SCH+ATH group were higher than in SCH alone and ATH alone groups, respectively. Both miR-125a-5p and miR-126-3p showed a decreased trend from NC to SCH and then to SCH+ATH or ATH subjects. MiR-221-3p and miR-222-3p were decreased in the SCH+ATH and ATH groups compared with either the NC or SCH groups. No differences were found in the levels of miR125a-5p, miR126-3p, miR221-3p, and miR222-3p between the ATH and SCH+ATH group.


MiR-21-5p showed the most specific expression patterns in all patients with subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH and SCH+ATH groups). Down-regulation of miR-125a-5p, miR-126-3p, miR-221-3p, and miR-222-3p may be a manifestation of atherosclerosis either in SCH+ATH or in ATH-alone patients. MiR-126-3p has the most specific expression patterns in all atherosclerosis patients (SCH+ATH and ATH groups).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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