Elevated HDL-bound miR-181c-5p level is associated with diabetic vascular complications in Australian Aboriginal people.

Diabetes is a major burden on Australia's Indigenous population, with high rates of disease and vascular complications. Diabetic vascular complications are associated with impaired ischaemia-driven angiogenesis. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are key players in the regulation of angiogenesis. HDL-cholesterol (HDL-c) levels are inversely associated with the risk of developing diabetic complications and HDL can carry miRNAs. HDL-miRNA profiles differ in disease states and may present as biomarkers with the capacity to act as bioactive signalling molecules. Recent studies have demonstrated that HDL becomes dysfunctional in a diabetic environment, losing its vasculo-protective effects and becoming more pro-atherogenic. We sought to determine whether HDL-associated miRNA profiles and HDL functionality were predictive of the severity of diabetic vascular complications in Australia's Indigenous population.HDL was isolated from plasma samples from Indigenous participants without diabetes ('Healthy'), with type 2 diabetes mellitus ('T2DM') and with diabetes-associated macrovascular complications (specifically peripheral artery disease, 'T2DM+Comp'). To assess HDL angiogenic capacity, human coronary artery endothelial cells were treated with PBS, reconstituted HDL (rHDL, positive control) or isolated HDL and then exposed to high-glucose (25 mmol/l) conditions. The expression levels of two anti-angiogenic miRNAs (miR-181c-5p and miR-223-3p) and one pro-angiogenic miRNA (miR-27b-3p) were measured in the HDL fraction, plasma and treated human coronary artery endothelial cells by quantitative real-time PCR. In vitro endothelial tubule formation was assessed using the Matrigel tubulogenesis assay.Strikingly, we found that the levels of the anti-angiogenic miRNA miR-181c-5p were 14-fold higher (1454 ± 1346%) in the HDL from Aboriginal people with diabetic complications compared with both the Healthy (100 ± 121%, p 


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Authors: Kaitlin R Morrison, Emma L Solly, Tomer Shemesh, Peter J Psaltis, Stephen J Nicholls, Alex Brown, Christina A Bursill, Joanne T M Tan