MicroRNA-181 variants regulate T cell phenotype in the context of autoimmune neuroinflammation

Samira Ghorbani, Farideh Talebi, Wing Fuk Chan, Farimah Masoumi, Mohammed Vojgani, Christopher Power, Farshid Noorbakhsh

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40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Recent studies have revealed that multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions have distinct microRNA (miRNA) expression profiles. miR-181 family members show altered expression in MS tissues although their participation in MS pathogenesis remains uncertain. Herein, we investigated the involvement of miR-181a and miR-181b in the pathogenesis of MS and its animal model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Methods: miR-181a and -b levels were measured in the central nervous system (CNS) of patients with MS and mice with EAE as well as relevant leukocyte cultures by real-time RT-PCR. To examine the role of the miRNAs in leukocyte differentiation and function, miR-181a and -b mimic sequences were transfected into cultured primary macrophages and purified CD4 + T cells which were then analyzed by RT-PCR and flow cytometry. Luciferase reporter assays were performed to investigate the interaction of miR-181a and -b with the 3'-UTR of potential target transcripts, and the expression of target genes was measured in the CNS of EAE mice, activated lymphocytes, and macrophages. Results: Expression analyses revealed a significant decrease in miR-181a and -b levels in brain white matter from MS patients as well as in spinal cords of EAE mice during the acute and chronic phases of disease. Suppression of miR-181a was observed following antigen-specific or polyclonal activation of lymphocytes as well as in macrophages following LPS treatment. Overexpression of miR-181a and -b mimic sequences reduced proinflammatory gene expression in macrophages and polarization toward M1 phenotype. miR-181a and -b mimic sequences inhibited Th1 generation in CD4+ T cells and miR-181a mimic sequences also promoted Treg differentiation. Luciferase assays revealed Suppressor of mothers against decapentaplegic 7 (Smad7), as a direct target of miR-181a and -b. Conclusion: Our data highlight the anti-inflammatory actions of miR-181a and -b in the context of autoimmune neuroinflammation. miR-181a and -b influence differentiation of T helper cell and activation of macrophages, providing potential therapeutic options for controlling inflammation in MS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number758
Number of pages14
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Volume8
Issue numberJUL
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis
  • MicroRNA
  • MiR-181
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Suppressor of mothers against decapentaplegic 7

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