Association of serum and fecal microRNA profiles in cats with gastrointestinal cancer and chronic inflammatory enteropathy

Louise Brogaard, Janne G Lyngby, Annemarie T Kristensen, Merete Fredholm, Charlotte R Bjørnvad, Silke Salavati Schmitz, Ellen Skancke, Joanna S Morris, Nana Dupont, David Argyle, Armand Sánchez, Anette Spohr, Kasper Graarup-Hansen, Lise N Nielsen, Susanna Cirera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

BACKGROUND: Differentiation of gastrointestinal cancer (GIC) from chronic inflammatory enteropathies (CIE) in cats can be challenging and often requires extensive diagnostic testing. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have promise as non-invasive biomarkers in serum and feces for diagnosis of GIC.

HYPOTHESIS/OBJECTIVES: Cats with GIC will have serum and fecal miRNA profiles that differ significantly from healthy cats and cats with CIE. Identify serum and fecal miRNAs with diagnostic potential for differentiation between cats with GIC and CIE as compared to healthy cats.

ANIMALS: Ten healthy cats, 9 cats with CIE, and 10 cats with GIC; all client-owned.

METHODS: Cats were recruited for an international multicenter observational prospective case-control study. Serum and feces were screened using small RNA sequencing for miRNAs that differed in abundance between cats with GIC and CIE, and healthy cats. Diagnostic biomarker potential of relevant miRNAs from small RNA sequencing and the literature was confirmed using reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR).

RESULTS: Serum miR-223-3p was found to distinguish between cats with GIC and CIE with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.9 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.760-1.0), sensitivity of 90% (95% CI, 59.6-99.5%), and specificity of 77.8% (95% CI, 45.3-96.1%). Serum miR-223-3p likewise showed promise in differentiating a subgroup of cats with small cell lymphoma (SCL) from those with CIE. No fecal miRNAs could distinguish between cats with GIC and CIE.

CONCLUSION AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE: Serum miR-223-3p potentially may serve as a noninvasive diagnostic biomarker of GIC in cats, in addition to providing a much needed tool for the differentiation of CIE and SCL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1738-1749
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Issue number5
Early online date24 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023


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