Investigation of a relationship between serum concentrations of microRNA-122 and alanine aminotransferase activity in hospitalised cats

Susan K Armstrong, Wilna Oosthuyzen, Adam G Gow, Silke Salavati Schmitz, James W Dear, Richard J Mellanby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Current blood tests to diagnose feline liver diseases are suboptimal. Serum concentrations of microRNA (miR)-122 have been shown in humans, dogs and rodents to be a sensitive and specific biomarker for liver injury. To explore the potential diagnostic utility of measuring serum concentrations of miR-122 in cats, miR-122 was measured in a cohort of ill, hospitalised cats with known serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activity.

METHODS: In this retrospective study, cats were grouped into those with an ALT activity within the reference interval (0-83 U/l; n = 38) and those with an abnormal ALT activity (>84 U/l; n = 25). Serum concentrations of miR-122 were measured by real-time quantitative PCR and the relationship between miR-122 and ALT was examined.

RESULTS: miR-122 was significantly higher in the group with high ALT activity than the ALT group, within normal reference limits (P <0.0004). There was also a moderately positive correlation between serum ALT activity and miR-122 concentrations (P <0.001; r = 0.52).

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Concentrations of miR-122 were reliably quantified in feline serum and were higher in a cohort of cats with increased ALT activity than in cats with normal ALT activity. This work highlights the potential diagnostic utility of miR-122 as a biomarker of liver damage in cats and encourages further investigation to determine the sensitivity and specificity of miR-122 as a biomarker of hepatocellular injury in this species.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1098612X221100071
Pages (from-to)e289-e294
JournalJournal of Feline Medicine and Surgery
Volume24
Issue number8
Early online date15 Jun 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022

Keywords

  • Alanine Transaminase
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Cat Diseases/diagnosis
  • Cats
  • Dog Diseases/diagnosis
  • Dogs
  • Humans
  • Liver Diseases/veterinary
  • MicroRNAs/genetics
  • Retrospective Studies

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