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PLoS One. 2019 Dec 11;14(12):e0226357. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0226357. eCollection 2019.

MicroRNA profiling in canine multicentric lymphoma.

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Department of Pathobiology, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.


Lymphoma is the most common hematopoietic tumour in dogs and is remarkably similar to the human disease. Tumour biomarker discovery is providing new tools for diagnostics and predicting therapeutic response and clinical outcome. MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that participate in post-transcriptional gene regulation and their aberrant expression can impact genes involved in cancer. The aim of this study was to characterize microRNA expression in lymph nodes and plasma from dogs with multicentric B or T cell lymphoma compared to healthy control dogs. We further compared expression between lymph nodes and corresponding plasma samples and assessed changes in expression at relapse compared to time of diagnosis. Lastly, we investigated microRNAs for association with clinical outcome in patients treated with CHOP chemotherapy. A customized PCR array was utilized to profile 38 canine target microRNAs. Quantification was performed using real time RT-qPCR and relative expression was determined by the delta-delta Ct method. In lymph nodes, there were 16 microRNAs with significantly altered expression for B cell lymphoma and 9 for T cell lymphoma. In plasma, there were 15 microRNAs altered for B cell lymphoma and 3 for T cell lymphoma. The majority of microRNAs did not have correlated expression between lymph node and plasma and only 8 microRNAs were significantly different between diagnosis and relapse. For B cell lymphoma, 8 microRNAs had differential expression in the non-remission group compared to dogs that completed CHOP in complete remission. Four of these microRNAs were also altered in patients that died prior to one-year. Kaplan-Meier survival curves for high versus low microRNA expression revealed that 10 microRNAs were correlated with progression-free survival and 3 with overall survival. This study highlights microRNAs of interest for canine multicentric lymphoma. Future goals include development of microRNA panels that may be useful as biomarkers with the intent to provide improved outcome prediction to veterinary cancer patients.

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