Article Text

AB0463 Serum Levels of MIR-203 Predict a Positive Response to Tocilizumab Therapy in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients
  1. J. Feld1,
  2. D. Zisman1,2,
  3. M. Elias1,
  4. E. Hoffman1,
  5. A. Kinarty3,
  6. M.A. Rahat2,3
  1. 1Rheumatology unit, Carmel medical center, Haifa, Israel
  2. 2The Ruth and Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion
  3. 3Immunology Research Unit, Carmel medical center, Haifa, Israel, Haifa, Israel


Background Dysregulated expression levels of different microRNAs are reported in both serum and inflamed joints of RA patients.

Objectives To determine whether administration of Tocalizumab (TCZ), a neutralizing anti-IL-6 receptor antibody, changes expression levels of selected miRNAs, which were previously described in the context of RA.

Methods 40 RA patients diagnosed with moderate to severe disease activity according to both DAS28 and CDAI scores, and were started on TCZ therapy, were enrolled in the study. Serum samples that were obtained before treatment and 4 months after TCZ treatment initiation, were analyzed for the relative expression of miR-16, -21, -132, -146a, -150, -155, -203, -221, and -323 by qPCR.

Results No significant changes in the expression levels of the tested miRNAs were found after TCZ treatment. However, when patients were stratified to responders and non-responders according to both the CDAI and DAS28 scores, the levels of miR-203 alone, out of the 9 miRNAs examined, were increased by 8.2% (p<0.0335) only in the responding group after 4 months of TCZ treatment, relative to the no-responders.

Conclusions The expression levels of miR-203 could serve as a potential biomarker that predicts a positive response to TCZ treatment in RA patients.


  1. O'Connell, R. M., Rao, D. S., Baltimore, D. (2012) microRNA regulation of inflammatory responses. Annu Rev Immunol 30, 295-312.

  2. Fu, L., Jin, L., Yan, L., Shi, J., Wang, H., Zhou, B., Wu, X. (2014) Comprehensive review of genetic association studies and meta-analysis on miRNA polymorphisms and rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus susceptibility. Hum Immunol Sep 2014.

  3. Bottini, N. and Firestein, G. S. (2013) Epigenetics in rheumatoid arthritis: a primer for rheumatologists. Curr Rheumatol Rep 15, 372.

  4. Duroux-Richard, I., Jorgensen, C., Apparailly, F. (2012) What do microRNAs mean for rheumatoid arthritis? Arthritis Rheum 64, 11-20.

  5. Murata, K., Yoshitomi, H., Tanida, S., Ishikawa, M., Nishitani, K., Ito, H., Nakamura, T. (2010) Plasma and synovial fluid microRNAs as potential biomarkers of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Arthritis research & therapy 12, R86.

  6. Stanczyk, J., Ospelt, C., Karouzakis, E., Filer, A., Raza, K., Kolling, C., Gay, R., Buckley, C. D., Tak, P. P., Gay, S., Kyburz, D. (2011) Altered expression of microRNA-203 in rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts and its role in fibroblast activation. Arthritis Rheum 63, 373-81.

Acknowledgements The first and second authors are equal contributors.

Disclosure of Interest None declared

Statistics from

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.