Urinary microRNAome in healthy cats and cats with pyelonephritis or other urological conditions

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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. miRNAs have been found in urine and have shown diagnostic potential in human nephropathies. Here, we aimed to characterize, for the first time, the feline urinary miRNAome and explore the use of urinary miRNA profiles as non-invasive biomarkers for feline pyelonephritis (PN). Thirty-eight cats were included in a prospective casecontrol study and classified in five groups: healthy Control cats (n = 11), cats with PN (n = 10), cats with subclinical bacteriuria or cystitis (SB/C, n = 5), cats with ureteral obstruction (n = 7) and cats with chronic kidney disease (n = 5). By small RNA sequencing we identified 212 miRNAs in cat urine, including annotated (n = 137) and putative novel (n = 75) miRNAs. The 15 most highly abundant urinary miRNAs accounted for nearly 71% of all detected miRNAs, most of which were previously identified in feline kidney. Ninety-nine differentially abundant (DA) miRNAs were identified when comparing Control cats to cats with urological conditions and 102 DA miRNAs when comparing PN to other urological conditions. Tissue clustering analysis revealed that the majority of urine samples clustered close to kidney, which confirm the likely cellular origin of the secreted urinary miRNAs. Relevant DA miRNAs were verified by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR). Eighteen miRNAs discriminated Control cats from cats with a urological condition. Of those, seven miRNAs were DA by both RNAseq and qPCR methods between Control and PN cats (miR-125b-5p, miR-27a-3p, miR-21- 5p, miR-27b-3p, miR-125a-5p, miR-17-5p and miR-23a-3p) or DA between Control and SB/ C cats (miR-125b-5p). Six additional miRNAs (miR-30b-5p, miR-30c, miR-30e-5p, miR- 27a-3p, miR-27b-39 and miR-222) relevant for discriminating PN from other urological conditions were identified by qPCR alone (n = 4) or by both methods (n = 2) (P<0.05). This panel of 13 miRNAs has potential as non-invasive urinary biomarkers for diagnostic of PN and other urological conditions in cats.

TidsskriftPLoS ONE
StatusUdgivet - 2022

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© 2022 Godia et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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