Diagnostic Performance of Circulating miRNAs and Extracellular Vesicles in Acute Ischemic Stroke
De Rosa, Salvatore
van der Pol, Edwin
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Background: Increased inflammation activates blood coagulation system, higher platelet activation plays a key role in the pathophysiology of ischemic stroke (IS). During platelet activation and aggregation process, platelets may cause increased release of several proinflammatory, and prothrombotic mediators, including microRNAs (miRNAs) and extracellular vesicles (EVs). In the current study we aimed to assess circulating miRNAs profile related to platelet function and inflammation and circulating EVs from platelets, leukocytes, and endothelial cells to analyse their diagnostic and predictive utility in patients with acute IS. Methods: The study population consisted of 28 patients with the diagnosis of the acute IS. The control group consisted of 35 age- and gender-matched patients on acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) therapy without history of stroke and/or TIA with established stable coronary artery disease (CAD) and concomitant cardiovascular risk factors. Venous blood samples were collected from the control group and patients with IS on ASA therapy (a) 24 h after onset of acute IS, (b) 7-days following index hospitalization. Flow cytometry was used to determine the concentration of circulating EVs subtypes (from platelets, leukocytes, and endothelial cells) in platelet-depleted plasma and qRT-PCR was used to determine several circulating plasma miRNAs (miR-19a-3p, miR-186-5p and let-7f). Results: Patients with high platelet reactivity (HPR, based on arachidonic acid-induced platelet aggregometry) had significantly elevated platelet-EVs (CD62+) and leukocyte-EVs (CD45+) concentration compared to patients with normal platelet reactivity at the day of 1 acute-stroke (p = 0.012, p = 0.002, respectively). Diagnostic values of baseline miRNAs and EVs were evaluated with receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis. The area under the ROC curve for miR-19a-3p was 0.755 (95% CI, 0.63-0.88) p = 0.004, for let-7f, it was 0.874 (95% CI, 0.76-0.99) p = 0.0001; platelet-EVs was 0.776 (95% CI, 0.65-0.90) p = 0.001, whereas for leukocyte-EVs, it was 0.715 (95% CI, 0.57-0.87) p = 0.008. ROC curve showed that pooling the miR-19a-3p expressions, platelet-EVs, and leukocyte-EVs concentration yielded a higher AUC than the value of each individual biomarker as AUC was 0.893 (95% CI, 0.79-0.99). Patients with moderate stroke had significantly elevated miR-19a-3p expression levels compared to patients with minor stroke at the first day of IS. (AUC: 0.867, (95% CI, 0.74-0.10) p = 0.001). Conclusion: Combining different biomarkers of processes underlying IS pathophysiology might be beneficial for early diagnosis of ischemic events. Thus, we believe that in the future circulating biomarkers might be used in the prehospital phase of IS. In particular, circulating plasma EVs and non-coding RNAs including miRNAs are interesting candidates as bearers of circulating biomarkers due to their high stability in the blood and making them highly relevant biomarkers for IS diagnostics.
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