Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2017 February; 72(2): 111-115.

Copyright © 2017 CLINICS

Comparisons of serum miRNA expression profiles in patients with diabetic retinopathy and type 2 diabetes mellitus

Jianping Ma I # , Jufang Wang II # , Yanfen Liu III # , Changyi Wang I # , Donghui Duan III , Nanjia Lu III , Kaiyue Wang III , Lu Zhang III , Kaibo Gu III , Sihan Chen I , Tao Zhang I , Dingyun You IV * , Liyuan Han III *

Shenzhen Nanshan Center for Chronic Disease Control, Department of Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, Shenzhen, 518054, China

Ningbo Medical Center Lihuili Eastern Hospital, Department of Endocrinology, Ningbo 315040, China

Ningbo University, School of Medicine, Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Pathophysiology, Ningbo 315211, China

Kunming Medical University, Department of Science and Technology, Kunming, 650500, China

*Corresponding author. E-mail: /

#Co-first authors

received September 13, 2016; revised October 22, 2016; accepted December 15, 2016.



The aim of this study was to compare the expression levels of serum miRNAs in diabetic retinopathy and type 2 diabetes mellitus.


Serum miRNA expression profiles from diabetic retinopathy cases (type 2 diabetes mellitus patients with diabetic retinopathy) and type 2 diabetes mellitus controls (type 2 diabetes mellitus patients without diabetic retinopathy) were examined by miRNA-specific microarray analysis. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to validate the significantly differentially expressed serum miRNAs from the microarray analysis of 45 diabetic retinopathy cases and 45 age-, sex-, body mass index- and duration-of-diabetes-matched type 2 diabetes mellitus controls. The relative changes in serum miRNA expression levels were analyzed using the 2-ΔΔCt method.


A total of 5 diabetic retinopathy cases and 5 type 2 diabetes mellitus controls were included in the miRNA-specific microarray analysis. The serum levels of miR-3939 and miR-1910-3p differed significantly between the two groups in the screening stage; however, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction did not reveal significant differences in miRNA expression for 45 diabetic retinopathy cases and their matched type 2 diabetes mellitus controls.


Our findings indicate that miR-3939 and miR-1910-3p may not play important roles in the development of diabetic retinopathy; however, studies with a larger sample size are needed to confirm our findings.

Keywords: Type 2 diabetes mellitus, Diabetic retinopathy, Serum miRNAs

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