Common diseases alter the physiological age-related blood microRNA profile

Tobias Fehlmann, Benoit Lehallier, Nicholas Schaum, Oliver Hahn, Mustafa Kahraman, Yongping Li, Nadja Grammes, Lars Geffers, Christina Backes, Rudi Balling, Fabian Kern, Rejko Krüger, Frank Lammert, Nicole Ludwig, Benjamin Meder, Bastian Fromm, Walter Maetzler, Daniela Berg, Kathrin Brockmann, Christian DeuschleAnna Katharina von Thaler, Gerhard W. Eschweiler, Sofiya Milman, Nir Barziliai, Matthias Reichert, Tony Wyss-Coray, Eckart Meese, Andreas Keller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Aging is a key risk factor for chronic diseases of the elderly. MicroRNAs regulate post-transcriptional gene silencing through base-pair binding on their target mRNAs. We identified nonlinear changes in age-related microRNAs by analyzing whole blood from 1334 healthy individuals. We observed a larger influence of the age as compared to the sex and provide evidence for a shift to the 5’ mature form of miRNAs in healthy aging. The addition of 3059 diseased patients uncovered pan-disease and disease-specific alterations in aging profiles. Disease biomarker sets for all diseases were different between young and old patients. Computational deconvolution of whole-blood miRNAs into blood cell types suggests that cell intrinsic gene expression changes may impart greater significance than cell abundance changes to the whole blood miRNA profile. Altogether, these data provide a foundation for understanding the relationship between healthy aging and disease, and for the development of age-specific disease biomarkers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5958
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Common diseases alter the physiological age-related blood microRNA profile'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this