Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2020 Jan 24;15(1):e0228075. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0228075. eCollection 2020.

A prospective case-control study on miRNA circulating levels in subjects born small for gestational age (SGA) evaluated from childhood into young adulthood.

Author information

Dipartimento Pediatrico Universitario Ospedaliero, "Bambino Gesù" Children's Hospital - Tor Vergata University, Rome, Italy.
Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Medical Radiation Physics and Nuclear Medicine, Imaging and Physiology, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
Dipartimento di Medicina dei Sistemi, University of Rome Tor vergata, Rome, Italy.
Department of Women's and Children's Health, Karolinska Institutet and University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
Patient Area Endocrinology and Nephrology, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.



microRNAs (miRNAs) associated with metabolic risk have never been extensively investigated in SGA subjects. The aim of the current study was to evaluate miRNAs in SGA and AGA subjects and their relationships with the metabolic status and growth.


A prospective longitudinal case-control study was performed in 23 SGA with postnatal catch-up growth and 27 AGA subjects evaluated at the age of 9 and 21 years. Circulating levels of miR-122-5p, miR-16-5p, miR-126-3p, and miR-486-5p were assessed by qPCR.


SGA subjects were shorter both at 9 and at 21 years. No significant differences in insulin like growth factors and metabolic profile were found with the exception of basal glycemia at 9 years. miRNA levels did not differ between SGA and AGA subjects, at 9 and 21 years. miR-16-5p and miR-126-3p levels were higher at 9 than at 21 years. In SGA subjects, miR-122-5p at 9 years was inversely related to adiponectin levels at 21 years and miR-486-5p at 9 years was inversely related to whole-body insulin sensitivity at 9 years and directly related to Hb1Ac at 21 years. Regression analyses showed no predictive value of miRNAs for growth parameters in neither SGA nor AGA subjects.


SGA with postnatal catch-up growth did not show any difference in metabolic risk markers or miRNA circulating levels compared to AGA controls in childhood and young adulthood. miR-122-5p during childhood could identify SGA subjects at higher risk of developing insulin resistance and, eventually, type 2 diabetes in adulthood but further studies are needed to confirm it.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center