MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs of 18–23 nucleotides that regulate gene expression. Recently, plasma miRNAs have been investigated as biomarkers for various physiological and pathological conditions.The present study details the conserved miRNA expression profiles of tubular tissues, and discusses whether they could be used to distinguish between proximal tubule injury, diagnose acute kidney injury (AKI), and the early-stage renal tubular dysfunction.Design and Method:
miRNA expression was assessed with miRNA array and real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction using the TaqMan system. In order to assess the usefulness of miRNAsas biomarkers for kidney injury, AKI was induced in mice by contact freezing the kidney surface with dry ice and the Dahl salt-sensitive (DS) rat was used as renal tubular dysfunction model.Results:
The expression profiles of miR-200a/b/c, miR-145, miR-192, miR-194, miR-216a/b, miR-217, and miR-449a in human and rat tubular tissues such as the kidneys, lung, small intestine, and various exocrine glands were adequate for discriminating tubular tissues. In the kidney, miR-192 and miR-194 were highly expressed, whereas miR-145 and miR-449a were absent. miR-145 and miR-449a were relatively specifically expressed in small intestine and lung, respectively. Therefore, the combined levels of miR-200a/b/c, miR-192, and miR-194 in plasma were very useful in diagnosing AKI induced by contact freezing in mice. Moreover, urinary miR-200a levels were useful for the diagnosis of renal tubular dysfunction in Dahl salt-sensitive rat with high salt administration.Conclusions:
Our results indicate that miRNA expression profiles are useful as biomarkers for identification of various kidney injuries.