Circulating miR-122 as a potential biomarker of liver disease

Omar F. Laterza, Mitchell G. Scott, Philip W. Garrett-Engele, Kevin M. Korenblat, Christina M. Lockwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Aim: Expression profiles indicate that miR-122 is specifically and abundantly expressed in liver. This study sought to determine miR-122 plasma concentrations in 15 apparently healthy subjects and 30 patients with liver disease, and clarify whether plasma miR-122 correlates with ALT. Materials & methods: miR-122 was measured by quantitative PCR in healthy volunteers and patients with liver disease. Results: ALT was increased in two out of 15 (13%) apparently healthy subjects and 17 out of 30 (57%) liver disease patients. In healthy subjects, median miR-122 plasma concentration was 51.7 copies/20 pg RNA (range 16.0-312.0). In liver disease patients, median miR-122 was significantly elevated to 202.3 copies/20 pg RNA (range 20.9-1160.0; Mann-Whitney test between median concentrations; p = 0.0016). Conclusion: This small proof-of-principle study suggests that miR-122 may be a potential plasma biomarker of liver damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-210
Number of pages6
JournalBiomarkers in Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013


  • ALT
  • AST
  • biomarkers
  • hepatitis B virus
  • hepatitis C virus
  • hepatocellular carcinoma
  • liver disease
  • miR-122
  • microRNA
  • tissue injury


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