Diabetic retinopathies are important disabling conditions. Micro-RNAs (miRNAs) are regulators of gene expression and diseases can change their expression. Our aim was to analyze the expression of miRNAs in serum and vitreous samples from patients with diabetic retinopathies. The following groups and number of individuals were included: proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) (n = 16), diabetic macular edema (DME) (n = 17), and idiopathic epiretinal membrane (IEM) as non-diabetic controls (n = 23). The initial miRNA expression was explored using TaqMan low-density arrays (TLDAs) with subsequent validation through a quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Target genes were identified through bioinformatic tools for enrichment analysis. The TLDAs revealed the following miRNAs with differential expression in terms of PDR vs. IEM: miR-320a-3p, miR-92a-3p, and miR-375-3p in the serum, with miR-541-5p and miR-223-5p in the vitreous samples. DME vs IEM: miR-486-5p, miR-145-5p, miR-197-3p, and miR-125b-5p in the serum, and miR-212-3p in vitreous samples. PDR vs. DME: miR-486-5p, miR-100-5p, miR-328-3p, miR-660-5p, and miR-145 in the serum and none in the vitreous samples. Validation was confirmed only for miR-145, miR-92a, and miR-375 in the serum. The relevant enriched pathways for these three validated miRNAs, miR-145, miR-92a, and miR-375 were the vascular endothelial growth factor and its receptor, hepatocyte growth factor receptor, epidermal growth factor, focal adhesion, and phosphoinositide 3-kinase. Our results support the involvement of miRNAs in the pathophysiology of diabetic retinopathies and reinforce their potential as biomarkers or therapeutic resources.
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