MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are widely expressed non-coding regulatory factors that affect the expression of the genome at the post-transcriptional level. They are capable of regulating more than 30% of human genes. Dysregulation of miRNA has been reported in autoimmunity and inflammation and therefore show a potential for use as therapeutic targets in many diseases.
This study group from Denmark assessed whether miRNAs contribute to the altered immune activation state in people with relapsing-remitting MS and investigated the possible use of miRNAs as diagnostic biomarkers in MS. They looked at the expression of miRNAs in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and selected miRNAs were measured in plasma, using real-time qPCR.
The results were compared with cytokines related to inflammation and disease activity. They found that among the validated miRNAs, let-7d correlated with the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1B. miR-145 was differentially expressed in MS patients. In conclusion, people with relapsing-remitting MS in remission had altered expression of miRNAs. They validated miR-145 as a potential diagnostic biomarker for the diagnosis of MS in blood, plasma and serum.
Authors: Søndergaard HB, Hesse D
Sources: Mult Scler. 2013 Jun 17. [Epub ahead of print]
Read the abstract