, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp 280–290 | Cite as

Identification of several circulating microRNAs from a genome-wide circulating microRNA expression profile as potential biomarkers for impaired glucose metabolism in polycystic ovarian syndrome

  • Linlin Jiang
  • Jia Huang
  • Yaxiao Chen
  • Yabo Yang
  • Ruiqi Li
  • Yu Li
  • Xiaoli Chen
  • Dongzi YangEmail author
Original Article


This study aimed to detect serum microRNAs (miRNAs) differentially expressed between polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) patients with impaired glucose metabolism (IGM), PCOS patients with normal glucose tolerance (NGT), and healthy controls. A TaqMan miRNA array explored serum miRNA profiles as a pilot study, then selected miRNAs were analyzed in a validation cohort consisting of 65 PCOS women with IGM, 65 PCOS women with NGT, and 45 healthy women The relative expression of miR-122, miR-193b, and miR-194 was up-regulated in PCOS patients compared with controls, whereas that of miR-199b-5p was down-regulated. Furthermore, miR-122, miR-193b, and miR-194 were increased in the PCOS-IGM group compared with the PCOS-NGT group. Multiple linear regression analyses revealed that miR-193b and body mass index contributed independently to explain 43.7 % (P < 0.0001) of homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance after adjustment for age. Investigation of diagnostic values confirmed the optimal combination of BMI and miR-193b to explore the possibility of IGM in PCOS women with area under the curve of 0.752 (95 % CI 0.667–0.837, P < 0.001). Bioinformatics analysis indicated that the predicted target functions of these miRNAs mainly involved glycometabolism and ovarian follicle development pathways, including the insulin signaling pathway, the neurotrophin signaling pathway, the PI3K-AKT signaling pathway, and regulation of actin cytoskeleton. This study expands our knowledge of the serum miRNA expression profiles of PCOS patients with IGM and the predicted target signal pathways involved in disease pathophysiology.


Circulating miRNAs Polycystic ovarian syndrome Impaired glucose metabolism Biomarker 



Polycystic ovarian syndrome


Impaired glucose metabolism


Impaired glucose tolerance


Type 2 diabetes mellitus


Normal glucose tolerance


Homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance


Free androgen index



This work was supported by a grant from the Key Laboratory of Malignant Tumor Molecular Mechanism and Translational Medicine of Guangzhou Bureau of Science and Information Technology (Grant No. [2013]163). Grant support was also provided by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 81370680 and 81402168); the Specialized Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of the Chinese Ministry of Education (Grant No. 20130171130009); the Natural Science Foundation of Key Research Project of Guangdong Province (Grant No: 2013020012660); and the Fund of Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province, China (Grant No. 2014A030310069).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights

All procedures involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

12020_2016_878_MOESM1_ESM.tif (877 kb)
miRNA expression in the PCOS-IGM subgroups. Box plots show miRNA expression levels in sera from PCOS-IFG/IGT patients (n = 48) and PCOS-T2DM patients (n = 17). The concentrations of miR-122 (a), miR-193b (b), miR-194 (c), and miR-199b-5p (d) did not differ significantly between the two groups (TIFF 877 kb)
12020_2016_878_MOESM2_ESM.docx (20 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 20 kb)
12020_2016_878_MOESM3_ESM.docx (18 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (DOCX 17 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linlin Jiang
    • 1
  • Jia Huang
    • 1
  • Yaxiao Chen
    • 1
  • Yabo Yang
    • 1
  • Ruiqi Li
    • 1
  • Yu Li
    • 1
  • Xiaoli Chen
    • 1
  • Dongzi Yang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Malignant Tumor Epigenetics and Gene Regulation, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sun Yat-Sen Memorial HospitalSun Yat-Sen UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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