Objectives: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) dysregulate gene expression by binding to target messenger RNAs, and play an important role in the pathogenesis of various diseases, including cancers, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Circulating miRNAs have increasingly been recognized as biomarkers for detecting and diagnosing those diseases. Few studies have investigated the association of circulating miRNA with the early stages of cognitive impairment, such as mild cognitive impairment, in the general population. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between cognitive function and several serum miRNAs levels related to amyloid precursor protein (APP) proteolysis in a Japanese general population who had never been diagnosed with dementia. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of 337 Japanese subjects (144 men, 193 women) who attended a health examination. The short form of the Mini-Mental State Examination (SMMSE) was used to assess cognitive function. Serum levels of 6 miRNAs (let-7d, miR-17, miR-20a, miR-27a, miR-34a, miR-103a) were measured by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Results: Multivariable-adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for lower SMMSE score (SMMSE score < 28) were significantly increased in the lowest tertile of serum miR-20a (OR, 2.08; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.09–4.04) and miR-103a (OR, 1.91; 95%CI, 1.00–3.69) compared to the highest tertile. Moreover, serum levels of miR-20a, -27a, and -103a were linearly and positively associated with SMMSE scores after adjustment for confounding factors. Conclusion: Low serum levels of miR-20a, -27a, and -103a are independently associated with cognitive impairment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes