Micro-RNA dysregulation in multiple sclerosis favours pro-inflammatory T-cell-mediated autoimmunity.

Department of Neurology, The Ohio State University, 395 West 12th Avenue Columbus, OH 43210, USA.
Brain (Impact Factor: 9.92). 11/2011; 134(Pt 12):3578-89. DOI: 10.1093/brain/awr262
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Pro-inflammatory T cells mediate autoimmune demyelination in multiple sclerosis. However, the factors driving their development and multiple sclerosis susceptibility are incompletely understood. We investigated how micro-RNAs, newly described as post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression, contribute to pathogenic T-cell differentiation in multiple sclerosis. miR-128 and miR-27b were increased in naïve and miR-340 in memory CD4(+) T cells from patients with multiple sclerosis, inhibiting Th2 cell development and favouring pro-inflammatory Th1 responses. These effects were mediated by direct suppression of B lymphoma Mo-MLV insertion region 1 homolog (BMI1) and interleukin-4 (IL4) expression, resulting in decreased GATA3 levels, and a Th2 to Th1 cytokine shift. Gain-of-function experiments with these micro-RNAs enhanced the encephalitogenic potential of myelin-specific T cells in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. In addition, treatment of multiple sclerosis patient T cells with oligonucleotide micro-RNA inhibitors led to the restoration of Th2 responses. These data illustrate the biological significance and therapeutic potential of these micro-RNAs in regulating T-cell phenotypes in multiple sclerosis.

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