MRNA and miRNA expression patterns associated to pathways linked to metal mixture health effects.

PMID 24080485


Metals are a threat to human health by increasing disease risk. Experimental data have linked altered miRNA expression with exposure to some metals. MiRNAs comprise a large family of non-coding single-stranded molecules that primarily function to negatively regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally. Although several human populations are exposed to low concentrations of As, Cd and Pb as a mixture, most toxicology research focuses on the individual effects that these metals exert. Thus, this study aims to evaluate global miRNA and mRNA expression changes induced by a metal mixture containing NaAsO2, CdCl2, Pb(C2H3O2)2·3H2O and to predict possible metal-associated disease development under these conditions. Our results show that this metal mixture results in a miRNA expression profile that may be responsible for the mRNA expression changes observed under experimental conditions in which coding proteins are involved in cellular processes, including cell death, growth and proliferation related to the metal-associated inflammatory response and cancer.