MicroRNA-132 may be associated with blood pressure and liver steatosis—preliminary observations in obese individuals

Nina Eikelis, John B. Dixon, Elisabeth A. Lambert, Geula Hanin, Yonat Tzur, David S. Greenberg, Hermona Soreq, Francine Z. Marques, Michael T. Fahey, Geoffrey A. Head, Markus P. Schlaich, Gavin W. Lambert

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Recent findings in experimental models have shown that the microRNA miR-132 (mir-132) is an important regulator of liver homeostasis and lipid metabolism. We aimed to assess miR-132 expression in liver and fat tissues of obese individuals and examine its association with blood pressure (BP) and hepatic steatosis. We examined obese individuals undergoing bariatric surgery for weight loss (n = 19). Clinical and demographic information was obtained. Quantitative PCR was performed to determine tissue expression of miR-132 in liver and subcutaneous and visceral fat biopsies obtained during bariatric surgery. Liver biopsies were read by a single liver pathologist and graded for steatosis, inflammation and fibrosis. Participants (aged 39 ± 8.1 years) had a body mass index (BMI) of 42 ± 4.5 kg/m2 and presented with 2.2 ± 1.2 metabolic abnormalities. Supine BP was 127 ± 16/74 ± 11 mmHg. Hepatic and visceral fat expression of miR-132 were correlated (r = 0.59, P = 0.033). There was no correlation between subcutaneous and visceral expression of miR-132 (r = −0.31, P = 0.20). Hepatic and visceral fat miR-132 expression were associated with BMI (r = 0.62 and r = 0.68, P = 0.049 respectively) and degree of liver steatosis (r = 0.60 and r = 0.55, P < 0.05, respectively). Subcutaneous fat miRNA-132 expression was correlated to office systolic BP (r = 0.46, P < 0.05), several aspects of 24 h BP (24 h systolic BP: r = 0.52; day systolic BP: r = 0.59, P < 0.05 for all), plasma triglycerides (r = 0.51, P < 0.01) and liver enzymes (ALT: r = −0.52; AST: r = −0.48, P < 0.05 for all). We found an association between miR-132 and markers of cardiovascular and metabolic disease. Reduction of miR-132 may be a target for the regulation of liver lipid homeostasis and control of obesity-related blood pressure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)911-916
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Human Hypertension
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

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