The abnormal expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) is implicated in various human diseases, including cancers. Accordingly, miRNA expressions have been examined in many cancer tissues and blood, but there have been few studies examining smear samples from bone marrow (BM) or peripheral blood. Here we successfully isolated small RNAs from BM smears using a mirVana miRNA Isolation Kit with our original modifications. The isolated small RNAs were then used to measure the levels of representative miRNAs such as miR-155, let-7a, and U6 via real-time PCR with a specific TaqMan probe, although peaks for the ribosomal RNAs (18S, and 28S) were not identified. The PCR curves of the miRNAs were indistinguishable from those from BM living cells from the same donor. Finally, our method for BM smears identified numerous abnormally altered miRNAs (significantly decreased, 39 miRNAs; significantly increased, 27 miRNAs) in follicular lymphomas (FL) compared with normal donors via TaqMan real-time PCR miRNA array. The array indicated that miR-451 showed the greatest decrease in FL (a 345-fold decrease), while miR-338-5p showed the greatest increase in FL (172-fold) relative to normal donors. The miRNAs identified by our study might serve as markers to predict the invasion of FL cells into BM without biopsy. Furthermore, our method will provide a new avenue for the analysis of miRNAs in BM smear samples from various hematologic diseases.
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