Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is associated with short- and long-term complications in both mothers and their offspring. Screening and early diagnosis of GDM is advocated as a strategy to prevent adverse pregnancy outcomes. However, there is currently no test that is amenable to routine screening, particularly in low-and middle-income countries. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNA molecules that regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally. In recent years, miRNAs have been the focus of increasing research due to their important role in regulating biological pathways and their aberrant expression during disease. The discovery of circulating miRNAs in maternal blood, and their altered expression during pregnancy-associated complications have increased interest into their potential as diagnostic biomarkers for GDM. In this review, we summarise studies that have investigated miRNAs in maternal blood thus providing an update of the current status of miRNAs as biomarkers for GDM. We also discuss the challenges of miRNA profiling, and highlight perspectives and recommendations for research.
Part of the book: Gestational Diabetes Mellitus