Study examines miRNA biomarkers for ALS using plasma from Innovative Research

Posted by Wendy Wise on

A study examines miRNA biomarkers for ALS using plasma from Innovative Research. The study was published in the Journal of The Neurological Sciences last month. Scientists examined miRNA biomarkers for ALS extracted from extracellular vesicles in blood samples using a large and diverse patient and control population. They determined that different blood collection and storage protocols by different investigators could impact repeatability of miRNA analysis. One hundred blinded, blood plasma samples were analyzed. Thirty-five men and 15 women with ALS were compared with controls consisting of 30 men and 20 women. None of the ALS patient cohort reported family members with ALS, suggesting sporadic ALS. Five of the eight biomarkers previously published were found to significantly discriminate ALS patient samples from control samples.

miRNA extracted from extracellular vesicles is a robust biomarker of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Sandra Anne Banack, Rachael Anne Dunlop, Elijah W. Stommel, Paul Mehta, Paul Alan Cox

Journal of The Neurological Sciences

Published: August 29, 2022

 

Abstract

Background and objectives

We examined miRNA biomarkers for ALS extracted from extracellular vesicles in blood samples using a large and diverse patient and control population. Different blood collection and storage protocols by different investigators could impact repeatability of miRNA analysis. We tested the hypotheses that miRNA extracted from extracellular vesicles using immunoaffinity purification techniques are robust and repeatable across investigators, laboratories and in a broad ALS population.

Methods

De-identified patient blood plasma samples obtained from the U.S. National ALS Biorepository were compared with plasma from non-ALS controls. Extracellular vesicles were extracted and isolated using L1CAM immunoaffinity purification. Total RNA was extracted, and miRNA quantified using qPCR following careful quality control measures. Gene fold expressions of eight miRNAs were compared using a Mann-Whitney two-tailed test.

Results

One hundred blinded, blood plasma samples were analyzed. Thirty-five men and 15 women with ALS were compared with controls consisting of 30 men and 20 women. None of the ALS patient cohort reported family members with ALS suggesting sporadic ALS. Five of the eight biomarkers previously published were found to significantly discriminate ALS patient samples from control samples.

Discussion

The methods used in this study provide a repeatable measure of miRNA biomarkers that statistically differentiate ALS patient samples from control samples. The broad inclusion criteria for both the ALS patient cohort and controls along with the collection of blood samples by different investigators suggest that these methods are robust and represent good candidates for further research and development aimed at clinical application.

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