MicroRNAs: key components of immune regulation.

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Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology (Impact Factor: 2.01). 01/2012; 780:15-26. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4419-5632-3_2
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The regulation of gene expression at the posttranscriptional level has revealed important control levels for genes important to the immune system. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small RNAs that regulate gene expression by inhibiting protein translation or by degrading the mRNA transcript. A single miRNA can potentially regulate the expression of multiple genes and the proteins encoded. MiRNA can influence molecular signaling pathways and regulate many biological processes including immune function. Although the role of miRNAs in development and oncogenesis has been well characterized, their role in the immune system has only begun to emerge. During the past few years, many miRNAs have been found to be important in the development, differentiation, survival, and function of B and T lymphocytes, dendritic cells, macrophages, and other immune cell types. We discuss here recent findings revealing important roles for miRNA in immunity and how miRNAs can regulate innate and adaptive immune responses.

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    ABSTRACT: Endometrial lymphocytes are recruited to the porcine maternal-fetal interface by conceptus-derived signals. The transiently recruited lymphocytes adopt a specialized phenotype in the endometrium that regulates various placental physiological processes, including angiogenesis. Small non-coding RNAs, microRNAs (miRNAs) are emerging as principal bio-molecules regulating the development of lymphocytes and their angiogenic functions. However, no information is available in the context of endometrial lymphocytes in pregnancy. We hypothesize that miRNAs are involved in the development of endometrial lymphocytes and their angiogenic functions at the porcine maternal-fetal interface. Using a targeted Q-PCR approach for selected miRNAs involved in immune cell development, angiogenesis, and anti-angiogenesis, we conducted a study to screen endometrial lymphocytes associated with healthy and spontaneously arresting conceptus attachment sites (CAS) at two well-defined periods of fetal loss. Comparisons were made with endometrium and trophoblasts associated with healthy and arresting CAS. In addition, levels of putative mRNA targets and subsequent functional clustering of genes were studied in order to predict the biological mechanisms affected. We found several significant differences for miRNAs involved in immune cell development and angiogenesis (miR-296-5P, miR-150, miR-17P-5P, miR-18a, and miR-19a) between endometrial lymphocytes associated with healthy and arresting CAS. Significant differences were also found in endometrium and trophoblasts for some miRNAs (miR-20b, miR-17-5P, miR-18a, miR-15b-5P, and miR-222). Finally, selected mRNA targets showed differential expression in all groups. Our data, although associative, are the first to unravel the selected miRNAs involved in immune cell development and provide insights into their possible regulation in abortive pregnancy. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Journal of Reproductive Immunology 12/2014; 107. · 2.37 Impact Factor


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May 29, 2014