Plasma microRNA signature as a noninvasive biomarker for acute graft-versus-host disease.
Acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Approximately 35% to 50% of HCT recipients develop aGVHD; however, there are no validated diagnostic and predictive blood biomarkers for aGVHD in clinical use. Here, we show that plasma samples from aGVHD patients have a distinct microRNA (miRNA) expression profile. We found that 6 miRNAs (miR-423, miR-199a-3p, miR-93*, miR-377, miR-155, and miR-30a) were significantly upregulated in the plasma of aGVHD patients (n = 116) when compared with non-GVHD patients (n = 52) in training and validation phases. We have developed a model including 4 miRNAs (miR-423, miR-199a-3p, miR-93*, and miR-377) that can predict the probability of aGVHD with an area under the curve of 0.80. Moreover, these elevated miRNAs were detected before the onset of aGVHD (median = 16 days before diagnosis). In addition, the levels of these miRNAs were positively associated with aGVHD severity, and high expression of the miRNA panel was associated with poor overall survival. Furthermore, the miRNA signature for aGVHD was not detected in the plasma of lung transplant or nontransplant sepsis patients. Our results have identified a specific plasma miRNA signature that may serve as an independent biomarker for the prediction, diagnosis, and prognosis of aGVHD.
Xiao, B; Wang, Y; Li, W; Baker, M; Guo, J; Corbet, K; Tsalik, EL; Li, Q-J; Palmer, SM; Woods, CW; Li, Z; Chao, NJ; He, Y-W
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