Insulin Resistance Impacted by Circulating Extracellular RNAs

HealthDay News — Circulating extracellular RNAs (ex-RNAs) are associated with insulin resistance, according to a study published online in Diabetes Care.

Ravi Shah, MD, from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues examined the correlation between ex-RNAs and metabolic phenotypes in 2317 participants without diabetes in the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) Offspring Cohort. The correlation between candidate ex-RNAs and markers of adiposity was measured. Individuals with diabetes were included in sensitivity analyses. Selected ex-RNAs and metabolites were measured in a separate cohort of 90 overweight/obese youth.

The researchers found that across 391 ex-RNAs in FHS, 18 were associated with insulin resistance in age-, sex, and body mass index-adjusted models. Independent of metabolites, miR-122 correlated with insulin resistance and regional adiposity in adults and insulin resistance in children. Metabolic regulatory roles for miR-122, including regulation of insulin resistance pathways, was observed on pathway analysis.

“These results provide translational evidence in support of an important role of ex-RNAs as novel circulating factors implicated in insulin resistance,” the authors write.

Related Articles


Shah R, Murthy V, Pacold M, et al. Extracellular RNAs are associated with insulin resistance in metabolic phenotypes [published online February 9, 2017]. Diabetes Care. doi: 10.2337/dc16-1354