Deregulation of microRNA expression in purified T and B lymphocytes from patients with primary Sjögren’s syndrome

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Abstract

Objective

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play an important role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases such as primary Sjögren’s syndrome (pSS). This study is the first to investigate miRNA expression patterns in purified T and B lymphocytes from patients with pSS using a high-throughput quantitative PCR (qPCR) approach.

Methods

Two independent cohorts of both patients with pSS and controls, one for discovery and one for replication, were included in this study. CD4+ T cells and CD19+ B cells were isolated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells by magnetic microbeads and expression of miRNAs was profiled using the Exiqon Human miRNome panel I analysing 372 miRNAs. A selection of differentially expressed miRNAs was replicated in the second cohort using specific qPCR assays.

Results

A major difference in miRNA expression patterns was observed between the lymphocyte populations from patients with pSS and controls. In CD4 T lymphocytes, hsa-let-7d-3p, hsa-miR-155–5 p, hsa-miR-222–3 p, hsa-miR-30c-5p, hsa-miR-146a-5p, hsa-miR-378a-3p and hsa-miR-28–5 p were significantly differentially expressed in both the discovery and the replication cohort. In B lymphocytes, hsa-miR-378a-3p, hsa-miR-222–3 p, hsa-miR-26a-5p, hsa-miR-30b-5p and hsa-miR-19b-3p were significantly differentially expressed. Potential target mRNAs were enriched in disease relevant pathways. Expression of B-cell activating factor (BAFF) mRNA was inversely correlated with the expression of hsa-miR-30b-5p in B lymphocytes from patients with pSS and functional experiments showed increased expression of BAFF after inhibiting hsa-miR-30b-5p.

Conclusions

This study demonstrates major miRNAs deregulation in T and B cells from patients with pSS in two independent cohorts, which might target genes known to be involved in the pathogenesis of pSS.

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