INTRODUCTION: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) constitutes an important risk factor for cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The link between circulating microRNAs and HBV has been previously reported, although not as a marker of liver disease progression in chronic hepatitis B (CHB). The aim of this study was to characterize miRNA expression profiles between CHB with and without cirrhosis or HCC.
METHODS:: A total of 12 subjects were recruited in this study. We employed an Affymetrix Gene Chip miRNA 3.0 Array to provide universal miRNA coverage. We compared microRNA expression profiles between CHB with and without cirrhosis/HCC to discover possible prognostic markers associated with the progression of CHB.
RESULTS:: Our results indicated 8 differently expressed microRNAs, of which miRNA-935, miRNA-342, miRNA-339, miRNA-4508, miRNA-3615, and miRNA-3200 were up-regulated, whereas miRNA-182 and miRNA-4485 were down-regulated in patients with CHB who progressed to cirrhosis/HCC as compared to those without progression.
CONCLUSIONS:: We demonstrated the differential expression of miRNA-935, miRNA-342, miRNA-339, miRNA-4508, miRNA-3615, miRNA-3200, miRNA-182, and miRNA-4485 between patients with HBV without cirrhosis/HCC and those who had progressed to these more severe conditions. These miRNAs may serve as novel and non-invasive prognostic markers for early detection of CHB-infected patients who are at risk of progression to cirrhosis and/or HCC.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.