Frailty is a geriatric syndrome associated with progressive physical decline and significantly increases risk for falls, disability, hospitalizations, and death. However, much remains unknown regarding the biological mechanisms that contribute to aging and frailty, and to date, there are no clinically used prognostic or diagnostic molecular biomarkers. The present study profiled exosome-derived microRNAs isolated from the plasma of young, robust older, and frail older individuals and identified eight miRNAs that are uniquely enriched in frailty: miR-10a-3p, miR-92a-3p, miR-185-3p, miR-194-5p, miR-326, miR-532-5p, miR-576-5p, and miR-760. Furthermore, since exosomes can deliver miRNAs to alter cellular activity and behavior, these miRNAs may also provide insights into the biological mechanisms underlying frailty; KEGG analysis of their target genes revealed multiple pathways implicated in aging and age-related processes. Although further validation and research studies are warranted, our study identified eight novel candidate biomarkers of frailty that may help to elucidate the multifactorial pathogenesis of frailty.
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