MicroRNA expression profiling in children with different asthma phenotypes

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Abstract

Summary.

An improved understanding of the molecular mechanisms in asthma through exploring the role of microRNAs may offer promise to reveal new approaches for primary prevention and identification of new therapeutic targets in childhood asthma. The primary goal of this study is to identify the microRNAs that play a role in the pathogenesis of asthma in pediatric age group. The secondary goal is to analyze these microRNAs according to the asthma phenotype, atopic status, and severity of the disease exacerbation. To our knowledge, this is the first research project in the literature which studies the relationship between microRNA expression and the severity of childhood asthma. One hundred children between 6 and 18 years old with a diagnosis of asthma, and 100 age-matched healthy children were enrolled in this study, and the analyses of microRNA expression profiles were performed in the Medical Genetics Laboratories of Ege University between November 2009 and June 2010. The expression of 10 microRNAs were shown to be higher in patients with more severe asthma, and the expression of these microRNAs were also found to be higher in patients who present with more severe acute asthma exacerbation symptoms (P < 0.001). Also, five microRNAs were found to be expressed more than twofold in allergic patients when compared to non-allergic participants (P <0.001). Asthma is one of the best examples of complex genetic diseases, and further studies, which will investigate the relationship between these microRNA's and their target genes, are needed to learn more about the specific roles of microRNAs in respiratory diseases. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2016;51:582–587. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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