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Use of Serum MicroRNAs as Biomarker for Hepatobiliary Diseases in Dogs

Dirksen, K., Verzijl, T., Grinwis, G.C., Favier, R.P., Penning, L.C., Burgener, I.A., van der Laan, L.J., Fieten, H., Spee, B.
Journal of veterinary internal medicine 2016 v.30 no.6 pp. 1816-1823
Labrador Retriever, adenoma, biomarkers, blood serum, chronic hepatitis, diagnostic techniques, dogs, hepatoma, humans, microRNA, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, retrospective studies
BACKGROUND: Current biochemical indicators cannot discriminate between parenchymal, biliary, vascular, and neoplastic hepatobiliary diseases. MicroRNAs are promising new biomarkers for hepatobiliary disease in humans and dogs. OBJECTIVE: To measure serum concentrations of an established group of microRNAs in dogs and to investigate their concentrations in various types of hepatobiliary diseases. ANIMALS: Forty‐six client‐owned dogs with an established diagnosis of hepatobiliary disease and stored serum samples and eleven client‐owned healthy control Labrador Retrievers. METHODS: Retrospective study. Medical records of dogs with parenchymal, biliary, vascular, or neoplastic hepatobiliary diseases and control dogs were reviewed. Concentrations of miR‐21, miR‐122, miR‐126, miR‐148a, miR‐200c, and miR‐222 were quantified in serum by real‐time polymerase chain reaction. RESULTS: No different microRNA concentrations were found in the adenoma and congenital portosystemic shunt groups. In all other diseases, miR‐122 concentrations were elevated with the highest concentration in the mucocele group (267‐fold, CI: 40–1,768, P < .001). In dogs with biliary diseases, miR‐21 and miR‐222 were only increased in dogs with mucoceles (26‐fold, CI: 5–141, P = .005 and 13‐fold, CI: 2–70, P = .025, respectively). Uniquely increased microRNAs were found in the hepatocellular carcinoma group (miR‐200c, 35‐fold increase, CI: 3–382, P = .035) and the chronic hepatitis group (miR‐126, 22‐fold increase, CI: 5–91, P = .002). CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE: A microRNA panel consisting of miR‐21, miR‐122, miR‐126, miR‐200c, and miR‐222 can distinguish between parenchymal, biliary, and neoplastic hepatobiliary diseases. Serum microRNA profiling is a promising new tool that might be a valuable addition to conventional diagnostics to help diagnose various hepatobiliary diseases in dogs.