Early Salivary miRNA Expression in Extreme Low Gestational Age Newborns

Roopa Siddaiah, Lucy Emery, Heather Stephens, Ann Donnelly, Jennifer Erkinger, Kimberly Wisecup, Steven D. Hicks, Yuka Imamura Kawasawa, Christiana Oji-Mmuo, Shaili Amatya, Patricia Silveyra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: MicroRNAs (miRNA) are small non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression playing a key role in organogenesis. MiRNAs are studied in tracheal aspirates (TA) of preterm infants. However; this is difficult to obtain in infants who are not intubated. This study examines early salivary miRNA expression as non-invasive early biomarkers in extremely low gestational age newborns (ELGANs). Methods: Saliva was collected using DNA-genotek swabs, miRNAs were analyzed using RNA seq and RT PCR arrays. Salivary miRNA expression was compared to TA using RNA seq at 3 days of age, and longitudinal changes at 28 days of age were analyzed using RT PCR arrays in ELGANs. Results: Approximately 822 ng of RNA was extracted from saliva of 7 ELGANs; Of the 757 miRNAs isolated, 161 miRNAs had significant correlation in saliva and TA at 3 days of age (r = 0.97). Longitudinal miRNA analysis showed 29 miRNAs downregulated and 394 miRNAs upregulated at 28 days compared to 3 days of age (adjusted p < 0.1). Bioinformatic analysis (Ingenuity Pathway Analysis) of differentially expressed miRNAs identified organismal injury and abnormalities and cellular development as the top physiological system development and cellular function. Conclusion: Salivary miRNA expression are source for early biomarkers of underlying pathophysiology in ELGANs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number506
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


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