Circulating miRNA-21 is an innovative biomarker for cardiovascular events in erectile dysfunction patients.

It is well-known that circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) play a relevant role in many kinds of diseases by regulating the expression of genes involved in various pathophysiologic processes, including erectile dysfunction (ED) and cardiovascular diseases (CVD).

This study aimed to identify the miRNA-21 profile in the blood samples of patients with ED, CVD, and the combination of both pathologies to elucidate the potential function of miRNA-21.

A total of 45 patients with CVD and/or who underwent the erectile function test were included and divided into the following categories: CVD with ED (cases, n = 29) and controls (n = 16) with either ED or CVD. Real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis verified the results. miRNA-21 expression was quantified, and informatics analysis was applied to predict the functions of this differentially expressed miRNA-21.

A total of 64% of cases (63 ± 9 years, 66% with severe ED, 56% with CV ejection fraction) first presented ED as the sentinel clinical manifestation. Serum miRNA-21 levels in the control ED were significant, up to 10-fold higher than in the CVD controls and cases. A significant inverse (p = 0.0368, β = -2.046) correlation was found between erectile function and miRNA-21 levels.

Our study provides comprehensive insights into the functional interaction between miRNA-21 and ED in CVD patients. Its relevance lies in the potential of miRNA as a biomarker to be applied in the cardiovascular predictive medicine field.

Frontiers in cardiovascular medicine. 2024 Mar 21*** epublish ***

Laura Agulló, Ana Segura, Samanta Ortuño-Miquel, Ana Teresa Brinca, Rosa Micol-Ponce, Vicente Arrarte, María Rosa Ponce, Pau Miró-Martínez, Thomas Zandonai, Ana M Peiró

Pharmacogenetic Unit, Clinical Pharmacology Department, Alicante Institute for Health and Biomedical Research (ISABIAL), Dr. Balmis General University Hospital, Alicante, Spain., Andrology Unit, Urology Department, Dr. Balmis General University Hospital, Alicante, Spain., Bioinformatics Department, Alicante Institute for Health and Biomedical Research (ISABIAL), Dr. Balmis General University Hospital, Alicante, Spain., Health Sciences Research Centre, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Beira Interior, Covilhã, Portugal., Institute of Bioengineering, Miguel Hernández University, Elche, Spain., Cardiology Department, Dr. Balmis General University Hospital, Alicante, Spain., Department of Statistics and Operational Research of the Alcoy Campus of Universitat Politècnica de València, Alicante, Spain.