Circulating miRNA-375 levels are increased in autoantibodies-positive first-degree relatives of type 1 diabetes patients

  • L. Bertoccini
  • F. Sentinelli
  • M. Incani
  • D. Bailetti
  • F. A. Cimini
  • I. Barchetta
  • A. Lenzi
  • M. G. Cavallo
  • E. Cossu
  • M. G. BaroniEmail author
Short Communication


Growing evidence suggests that microRNAs (miRNAs) play a key role in immune system functions as well as in beta-cell metabolism, proliferation, and apoptosis, all processes involved in the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes (T1D) [1].

MicroRNAs are a class of small noncoding RNAs of 19–22 nucleotides, which act as negative regulators of gene expression by partially pairing to the 3′ or 5′ untranslated regions of their target mRNAs [2]. Recent studies have demonstrated that miRNAs are detected not only inside cells but also in extracellular fluids and body secretions [2]. MiRNAs are secreted by cells via exosomes, and travel in the circulation attached to high-density lipoprotein particles, where cells can take them up through receptor-mediated endocytosis [3]. Blood miRNA levels have been proposed as a new class of biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis of several diseases, including T1D, and also as new targets for treatments and interventions [4].

Although dysregulated...


MicroRNAs Autoantibodies c-Peptide Sardinia Beta-cells Autoimmunity 





Area under the curve


Cycle threshold


First-degree relatives


Acid decarboxylase autoantibodies


Tyrosine phosphatase autoantibodies


Insulin autoantibodies


Impaired glucose regulation




Receiver operating characteristic


Type 1 diabetes


Zinc transporter 8 autoantobodies



Particular thanks to C. Serafini, C. Satta, L. Perra, F. Scano, A. Strazzera (University Policlinic of Cagliari, Italy), P. Frongia, R. Ricciardi, C. Ripoli (San Michele Hospital, Cagliari), and M. Soro (San Martino Hospital, Oristano).

Author contributions

LB, FS, and MGB conceived and designed the study. LB, MI, and FS conducted the experiments. EC recruited the study population. LB, FS, FAC, DB, and IB analyzed and interpreted the data. LB, FS, and MGB wrote the manuscript. MGB, MGC, and EC revised critically and approved the manuscript.


Financial support was provided by the following institutions: Regione Autonoma della Sardegna RAS 2007 (number CRP-59453), Sapienza Ateneo Scientific Research (research projects 2017), both to MGB. FAC was recipient of a fellowship grant from the Associazione Medici Diabetologi (AMD) “Bando 5 per mille Fondazione AMD 2016”.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no potential conflicts of interests relevant to this study.

Ethical approval

The study was approved by the Ethical Committee of the University of Cagliari and conducted in conformance with the Helsinki Declaration.

Informed consent

Written consent was obtained from all the adult patients before the study. For children, written consent was obtained from the next of kin on behalf of the minors/children.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Endocrinology and Diabetes, Department of Experimental MedicineSapienza University of RomeRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Medical Sciences and Public HealthUniversity of CagliariCagliariItaly

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