Circulating MicroRNAs predict glycemic improvement and response to a behavioral intervention

Elena Flowers, Isabel Elaine Allen, Alka M. Kanaya, Bradley E. Aouizerat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: MicroRNAs may be important regulators of risk for type 2 diabetes. The purpose of this longitudinal observational study was to assess whether circulating microRNAs predicted improvements in fasting blood glucose, a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes, over 12 months. Methods: The study included participants (n = 82) from a previously completed trial that tested the effect of restorative yoga on individuals with prediabetes. Circulating microRNAs were measured using a flow cytometry miRNA assay. Linear models were used to determine the optimal sets of microRNA predictors overall and by intervention group. Results: Subsets of microRNAs were significant predictors of final fasting blood glucose after 12-months (R2 = 0.754, p < 0.001) and changes in fasting blood glucose over 12-months (R2 = 0.731, p < 0.001). Three microRNAs (let-7c, miR-363, miR-374b) were significant for the control group only, however there was no significant interaction by intervention group. Conclusions: Circulating microRNAs are significant predictors of fasting blood glucose in individuals with prediabetes. Among the identified microRNAs, several have previously been associated with risk for type 2 diabetes. This is one of the first studies to use a longitudinal design to assess whether microRNAs predict changes in fasting blood glucose over time. Further exploration of the function of the microRNAs included in these models may provide new insights about the complex etiology of type 2 diabetes and responses to behavioral risk reduction interventions. Trial registration: This study was a secondary analysis of a previously completed clinical trial that is registered at (NCT01024816) on December 3, 2009.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number65
JournalBiomarker Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Biomarker
  • Diabetes
  • Fasting blood glucose
  • Yoga
  • microRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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