Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 56, Issue 12, pp 8376–8391 | Cite as

A Systematic Review of MicroRNA Expression as Biomarker of Late-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Soraya Herrera-Espejo
  • Borja Santos-Zorrozua
  • Paula Álvarez-González
  • Elixabet Lopez-LopezEmail author
  • África Garcia-Orad


Late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD) is a high-occurrence neurological disorder but the difficulty in identifying precise and early biomarkers has complicated the understanding of the disease and the development of new treatments. In this sense, important knowledge is emerging regarding novel molecular and biological candidates with diagnostic potential, including microRNAs (miRNAs), which have a key role in gene repression. The aim of this systematic review was to define the role of miRNAs’ expression as biomarkers for LOAD both in brain tissues, which could help understand the biology of the disease, and circulating tissues, which could serve as non-invasive markers of the pathology. A systematic search was performed in Web of Science and PubMed using the keywords ((Alzheimer or Alzheimer’s) and (microRNA or microRNAs or miRNA or miRNAs or miR)) until August 2018 to retrieve all articles that presented independent original data evaluating the impact of miRNA expression on the development of LOAD in human population. A total of 90 studies investigating the role of miRNAs’ expression in the development of LOAD were identified. While other widely studied miRNAs such as hsa-miR-146a presented contradictory results among studies, deregulation in brain tissue of seven miRNAs, hsa-miR-16-5p, hsa-miR-34a-5p, hsa-miR-107, hsa-miR-125-5p, hsa-miR-132-3p, hsa-miR-181-3p, and hsa-miR-212-3p, was consistently identified in LOAD patients. Their role in the disease could be mediated through the regulation of key pathways, such as axon guidance, longevity, insulin, and MAPK signaling pathway. However, regarding their role as non-invasive biomarkers of LOAD in fluids, although the limited results available are promising, further studies are required.


Late-onset Alzheimer’s disease Circulating Non-circulating MicroRNAs Expression 


Funding Information

This study was funded by the Basque Government (IT989-16).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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ESM 1 (PDF 856 kb)
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Supplementary Table 1 (XLSX 41.4 kb)
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Supplementary Table 5 (XLSX 80 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Genetics, Physical Anthropology and Animal Physiology, Faculty of Medicine and NursingUniversity of The Basque Country (UPV/EHU)LeioaSpain
  2. 2.BioCruces Bizkaia Health Research InstituteBarakaldoSpain

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