Early diagnosis and precise monitoring of the development of proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) can significantly improve therapeutic strategies and help decrease blindness caused by it. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) were recently found to be involved in intercellular communications and are a potential source for the discovery of novel biomarkers. The current study aims to investigate the effectiveness of microRNAs (miRNAs) encapsulated in small EVs (sEVs) as minimally invasive biomarkers for PDR. SEVs were extracted from plasma of healthy subjects, diabetic patients, nonPDR patients and PDR patients. Then, we performed microarray analysis to determine the miRNA expression profile. MiR-431-5p expression doubled in the PDR patients compared with the healthy controls and the diabetic patients. We further found that miR-431-5p expression was 2.3 times higher in 4-hydroxynonenal treated human retinal capillary endothelial cells (HRCECs) than the control. After transfection with miR-431-5p mimics, proliferation of HRCECs was promoted, while transfection with miR-431-5p inhibitor demonstrated the opposite effect. The present findings indicate that circulating sEVs showed a differential miRNA profile in PDR patients. MiR-431-5p was involved in the pathogenesis of PDR development and may function as a novel biomarker for PDR.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Ltd.