microRNA-122 can be measured in capillary blood which facilitates point-of-care testing for drug-induced liver injury.

Vliegenthart AD, Berends C, Potter CM et al.

Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutics, University/BHF Centre for Cardiovascular Science, Edinburgh University, UK.

British journal of clinical pharmacology. Mar 2017.

Liver-enriched microRNA-122 (miR-122) is a novel circulating biomarker for drug-induced liver injury (DILI). To date, miR-122 has been measured in serum or plasma venous samples. If miR-122 could be measured in capillary blood obtained from a finger prick it would facilitate point-of-care testing, such as in resource-limited settings that have a high burden of DILI.In this study, in healthy subjects, miR-122 was measured by PCR in 3 capillary blood drops taken from different fingers and in venous blood and plasma (N = 20). miR-122 was also measured in capillary blood obtained from patients with DILI (N = 8).Circulating miR-122 could be readily measured in a capillary blood drop in healthy volunteers with a median (IQR) cycle threshold (Ct) of 32.6 (31.1-34.2). The coefficient of variation for intra-individual variability across replicate blood drops was 49.9%. Capillary miR-122 faithfully reflected the concentration in venous blood and plasma (Pearson R = 0.89, P < 0.0001; 0.88, P < 0.0001, respectively). miR-122 was 86-fold higher in DILI patients (median value 1.0x10(8) (IQR 1.89x10(7) -3.04x10(9) ) copies/blood drop) compared to healthy subjects (1.85x10(6) (4.92x10(5) -5.88x10(6) ) copies/blood drop). Receiver operator characteristic analysis demonstrated that capillary miR-122 sensitively and specifically reported DILI (area under the curve: 0.96, P =0.0002).This work supports the potential use of miR-122 as biomarker of human DILI when measured in a capillary blood drop. With development across DILI aetiologies, this could be utilised by novel point-of-care technologies to produce a minimally invasive, near patient, diagnostic test. Pubmed

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