Novel regulatory mechanisms in inflammatory arthritis: a role for microRNA

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Abstract

Elucidating pathways that regulate cytokine production in the context of autoimmune disease will likely lead to the development of novel therapeutics. Herein, we review data suggesting that microRNAs (miRs) represent one such level of regulatory activity, with particular emphasis on the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). A series of miRs have been identified to be dysregulated in cell subsets within the articular compartment of patients with RA. These have a critical role in regulating cartilage-invading phenotype of RA synovial fibroblasts. More recently, several studies suggest that miRs also regulate leukocyte activation and cytokine production that in turn contribute to the immunologic component of effector synovial pathology. Together, these observations open an exciting new vista of understanding and therapeutic opportunity for this difficult and common disease.

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