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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 826-834

Profiling of microRNA-122 in chronic hepatitis C

1 Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, National Liver Institute, Menoufia, Egypt
2 Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Menoufia University, Menoufia, Egypt
3 Department of Biochemistry, National Liver Institute, Menoufia, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Fatma O Khalil
Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, National Liver Institute, Menoufia University, Kafr Nafra Village, Berket El Sabae, Menoufia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1110-2098.202489

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Objective The aim of this study was to assess the expression level of microRNA-122 (miRNA-122) in the serum as a diagnostic marker of liver injury in chronic hepatitis C, liver cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Background MicroRNAs are small RNA molecules including the liver specific, miRNA-122, which acts as a critical regulator of hepatic gene expression and an essential factor for hepatitis C virus (HCV) replication. Patients and methods A total of 112 participants who were divided into four groups were included in the study. Group I included 27 patients with chronic hepatitis C infection. Group II included 27 patients with HCC. Group III included 30 patients with chronic liver cirrhosis. Group IV included 18 healthy individuals without hepatitis C infection or any other disease who served as a control group. Liver function tests, α-fetoprotein, complete blood count, hepatitis C antibody, hepatitis B surface antigen, HCV-RNA using PCR, and detection of miRNA-122 in the serum using real-time PCR were carried out for all groups. Results The expression level of serum miRNA-122 displayed a significant fold increase in serum miRNA-122 in the HCV group compared with the other groups (P ≤ 0.0001). Patients with HCC showed a nonsignificantly higher expression level of miRNA-122 as compared with controls. miRNA-122 fold change at cutoff less than 1.64 could predict patients with HCC with 81.4% sensitivity and 48% specificity. Conclusion Measurements of serum miRNA-122 may be useful in the evaluation of HCV patients, by permitting with a serum test, the diagnosis of HCC with high predictivity and sensitivity.

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