Circulating miR-92a expression level in patients with essential hypertension: a potential marker of atherosclerosis

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Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRs) are key posttranscriptional regulators of gene expression in all eukaryotic cells and have a vital role in the evolution of hypertension and cardiovascular remodelling and, therefore, have emerged as potential biomarkers for cardiovascular disease. We assessed 240 participants, including 60 healthy volunteers with normal carotid intima-media thickness (nCIMT), 60 healthy volunteers with increased CIMT (iCIMT), 60 hypertensive patients with nCIMT and 60 hypertensive patients with iCIMT. All patients underwent measurements of CIMT, carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (cfPWV) and ambulatory blood pressure (BP) monitoring. Plasma miR-92a expression was quantified by real-time reverse transcription PCR. Correlations between miR-92a expression and BP parameters, CIMT and cfPWV were assessed using the Spearman correlation coefficient. We observed the lowest miR-92a expression (24.59 ± 1.30 vs 27.76 ± 2.13 vs 29.29 ± 1.89 vs 33.76 ± 2.08; P < 0.001) in healthy controls with nCIMT, followed by healthy controls with iCIMT, then hypertensive patients with nCIMT and the highest expression in hypertensive patients with iCIMT. Additionally, MiR-92a levels showed a significant positive correlation with 24-h mean systolic BP (r = 0.807, P < 0.001), 24-h mean diastolic BP (r = 0.649, P < 0.001), 24-h mean pulse pressure (PP) (r = 0.697, P < 0.001), 24-h daytime PP (r = 0.654, P < 0.001), 24-h nighttime PP (r = 0.573, P < 0.001), CIMT (r = 0.571, P < 0.001) and cfPWV (r = 0.601, P < 0.001). Our data present significant evidence that circulating miR-92a represents a potential noninvasive atherosclerosis marker in essential hypertensive patients.

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