Circulating microRNAs associated with gestational diabetes mellitus: useful biomarkers?

Sofie Dinesen, Alisar El-Faitarouni, Louise T. Dalgaard*

*Corresponding author

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftReviewpeer review


Different types of small non-coding RNAs, especially miRNAs, may be found in the circulation, either protein-bound or enclosed in extracellular vesicles. During gestation, and particularly during gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), the levels of several miRNAs are altered. Worldwide the incidence of GDM is increasing, in part driven by the current obesity epidemic. This is a point of public health concern because offspring of women with GDM frequently suffer from short- and long-term complications of maternal GDM. This has prompted the investigation of whether levels of specific miRNA species, detected early in gestation, may be used as diagnostic or prognostic markers for the development of GDM. Here, we summarize the mechanisms of RNA secretion and review circulating miRNAs associated with GDM. Several miRNAs are associated with GDM: miR-29a-3p and miR-29b-3p are generally upregulated in GDM pregnancies, also when measured prior to the development of GDM, while miR-16-5p is consistently upregulated in GDM pregnancies, especially in late gestation. miR-330-3p in circulation is increased in late gestation GDM women, especially in those with poor insulin secretion. miR-17-5p, miR-19a/b-3p, miR-223-3p, miR-155-5p, miR-125-a/b-5p, miR-210-3p and miR-132 are also associated with GDM, but less so and with more contradictory results reported. There could be a publication bias as miRNAs identified early are investigated the most, suggesting that it is likely that additional, more recently detected miRNAs could also be associated with GDM. Thus, circulating miRNAs show potential as biomarkers of GDM diagnosis or prognosis, especially multiple miRNAs containing prediction algorithms show promise, but further studies are needed.

TidsskriftThe Journal of endocrinology
Udgave nummer1
StatusUdgivet - jan. 2023

Bibliografisk note

This article was found as a 'Free version' at the Publisher on January 4, 2023. If the access closes, please contact [email protected]


  • biomarker
  • diagnostics
  • gestional diabetes mellitus
  • hyperglycemia
  • microRNA
  • screening

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