Background and aims Altered expression of miRNAs have been implicated in the pathogenesis of SLE due to their role in both the adaptive and innate immunity. miRNAs control the differentiation and immunological functions of B cells, induction pathways in T cells, activation, function and maintenance of regulatory T-cells. The aim of our study was to evaluate the peripheral blood (PB) expression of miRNAs in SLE patients and to determine their correlation with the disease activity (DA).
Methods 40 SLE patients were included in the study. miR-146a and miR-155 expression levels in whole PB samples were determined by PCR (SYBR Green technology). 2-ΔΔCt method was used for analysis. 32 healthy donors were used as controls. The DA was determined by DA index (SLEDAI) with 24 descriptors.
Results miR-146a was overexpressed in 62.5% of the patients. None of the patients showed underexpression of miR-146a. miR-155 was overexpressed in 50% and underexpressed in 42.5% of the patients. miR-146a and miR-155 showed statistically significant correlation with the diagnosis (rs 0.363 and 0.330, respectively) and age (rs 0.239 and rs 0.366, respectively). But none of them correlated with SLEDAI nor with the immunological activity according to ANA, a-dsDNA, a-Sm, a-b2GPI, a-CL antibodies, C3 and C4 complement levels.
Conclusions Our data showed dysregulation of two miRNAs involved in the pathogenesis of SLE by immune cell activation. There was no correlation between the PB levels of these miRNA and the DA as a whole as well as with the immunological activity but larger study is needed to confirm these results.
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