Plasma MicroRNA Signature of Alcohol Consumption: The Rotterdam Study

Irma Karabegović, Yasir Abozaid, Silvana C.E. Maas, Jeremy Labrecque, Daniel Bos, Robert J. De knegt, M.A. Ikram, Trudy Voortman, Mohsen Ghanbari*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) represent a class of noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression and are implicated in the pathogenesis of different diseases. Alcohol consumption might affect the expression of miRNAs, which in turn could play a role in risk of diseases.
Objectives: We investigated whether plasma concentrations of miRNAs are altered by alcohol consumption. Given the existing evidence showing the link between alcohol and liver diseases, we further explored the extent to which these associations are mediated by miRNAs.
Methods: Profiling of plasma miRNAs was conducted using the HTG EdgeSeq miRNA Whole Transcriptome Assay in 1933 participants of the Rotterdam Study. Linear regression was implemented to explore the link between alcohol consumption (glasses/d) and miRNA concentrations, adjusted for age, sex, cohort, BMI, and smoking. Sensitivity analysis for alcohol categories (nondrinkers, light drinkers, and heavy drinkers) was performed, where light drinkers corresponded to 0–2 glasses/d in men and 0–1 glasses/d in women, and heavy drinkers to >2 glasses/d in men and >1 glass/d in women. Moreover, we utilized the alcohol-associated miRNAs to explore their potential mediatory role between alcohol consumption and liver-related traits. Finally, we retrieved putative target genes of identified miRNAs to gain an understanding of the molecular pathways concerning alcohol consumption.
Results: Plasma concentrations of miR-193b-3p, miR-122-5p, miR-3937, and miR-4507 were significantly associated with alcohol consumption surpassing the Bonferroni-corrected P Conclusions: This study indicates that alcohol consumption is associated with plasma concentrations of 4 miRNAs. We outline a potential mediatory role of 2 alcohol-associated miRNAs (miR-3937 and miR-122-5p), laying the groundwork for further exploration of miRNAs as potential mediators between lifestyle factors and disease development.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbernxac216
Pages (from-to)2677-2688
JournalThe Journal of Nutrition
Issue number12
Early online date20 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'Plasma MicroRNA Signature of Alcohol Consumption: The Rotterdam Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this