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Bioinformatics Analysis Of Differentially Expressed Genes And Identification Of An MiRNA–mRNA Network Associated With Entorhinal Cortex And Hippocampus In Alzheimer’s Disease

Haoming Li, Linqing Zou, Jinhong Shi, Xiao Han

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Abstract Background Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder, and the lesions originate in the entorhinal cortex (EC) and hippocampus (HIP) at the early stage of AD progression. Gaining insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying AD is critical for the diagnosis and treatment of this disorder. Recent discoveries have uncovered the essential roles of microRNAs (miRNAs) in aging and have identified the potential of miRNAs serving as biomarkers in AD diagnosis. Methods We sought to apply bioinformatics tools to investigate microarray profiles and characterize differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in both EC and HIP and identify specific candidate genes and pathways that might be implicated in AD for further analysis. Furthermore, we considered that DEGs might be dysregulated by miRNAs. Therefore, we investigated patients with AD and healthy controls by studying the gene profiling of their brain and blood samples to identify AD-related DEGs, differentially expressed miRNAs (DEmiRNAs), along with gene ontology (GO) analysis, KEGG pathway analysis, and construction of an AD-specific miRNA–mRNA interaction network. Results Our analysis identified 10 key hub genes in the EC and HIP of patients with AD, and these hub genes were focused on energy metabolism, suggesting that metabolic dyshomeostasis contributed to the progression of the early AD pathology. Moreover, after the construction of an miRNA–mRNA network, we identified 9 blood-related DEmiRNAs, which regulated 10 target genes in the KEGG pathway. Conclusions Our findings indicated these DEmiRNAs having the potential to act as diagnostic biomarkers at an early stage of AD.