Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is characterized by bone loss and altered bone remodeling, resulting into reduction of bone mineral density (BMD) and increased risk of fractures. Identification of specific biomarkers and/or causative factors of diabetic bone fragility is of fundamental importance for an early detection of such alterations and to envisage appropriate therapeutic interventions. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs which negatively regulate genes expression. Of note, miRNAs can be secreted in biological fluids through their association with different cellular components and, in such context, they may represent both candidate biomarkers and/or mediators of bone metabolism alterations. Here, we aimed at identifying miRNAs differentially expressed in serum of T1D patients and potentially involved in bone loss in type 1 diabetes. We selected six miRNAs previously associated with T1D and bone metabolism: miR-21; miR-24; miR-27a; miR-148a; miR-214; and miR-375. Selected miRNAs were analyzed in sera of 15 T1D patients (age: 33.57 ± 8.17; BMI: 21.4 ± 1.65) and 14 non-diabetic subjects (age: 31.7 ± 8.2; BMI: 24.6 ± 4.34). Calcium, osteocalcin, parathormone (PTH), bone ALkaline Phoshatase (bALP), and Vitamin D (VitD) as well as main parameters of bone health were measured in each patient. We observed an increased expression of miR-148a (p =
0.012) and miR-21-5p (p =
0.034) in sera of T1D patients vs. non-diabetic subjects. The correlation analysis between miRNAs expression and the main parameters of bone metabolism, showed a correlation between miR-148a and Bone Mineral Density (BMD) total body (TB) values (p =
0.042) and PTH circulating levels (p =
0.033) and the association of miR-21-5p to Bone Mineral Content-Femur (BMC-FEM). Finally, miR-148a and miR-21-5p target genes prediction analysis revealed several factors involved in bone development and remodeling, such as MAFB, WNT1, TGFB2, STAT3, or PDCD4, and the co-modulation of common pathways involved in bone homeostasis thus potentially assigning a role to both miR-148a and miR-21-5p in bone metabolism alterations. In conclusion, these results lead us to hypothesize a potential role for miR-148a and miR-21-5p in bone remodeling, thus representing potential biomarkers of bone fragility in T1D.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited