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Extended report
MicroRNA markers of inflammation and remodelling in temporal arteries from patients with giant cell arteritis
  1. Stefania Croci1,
  2. Alessandro Zerbini1,
  3. Luigi Boiardi2,
  4. Francesco Muratore2,
  5. Alessandra Bisagni3,
  6. Davide Nicoli4,
  7. Enrico Farnetti4,
  8. Giulia Pazzola2,
  9. Luca Cimino5,
  10. Antonio Moramarco5,
  11. Alberto Cavazza3,
  12. Bruno Casali4,
  13. Maria Parmeggiani1,
  14. Carlo Salvarani2
  1. 1Clinical Immunology, Allergy and Advanced Biotechnologies Unit, Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova-IRCCS, Reggio Emilia, Italy
  2. 2Rheumatology Unit, Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova-IRCCS, Reggio Emilia, Italy
  3. 3Pathology Unit, Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova-IRCCS, Reggio Emilia, Italy
  4. 4Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova-IRCCS, Reggio Emilia, Italy
  5. 5Ophthalmology Unit, Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova-IRCCS, Reggio Emilia, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Dr Carlo Salvarani, Unit of Rheumatology, Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova-IRCCS, Viale Risorgimento 80, Reggio Emilia 42123, Italy; carlo.salvarani{at}asmn.re.it and Dr Stefania Croci, Unit of Clinical Immunology, Allergy and Advanced Biotechnologies, Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova-IRCCS, Viale Risorgimento 80, Reggio Emilia 42123, Italy; stefania.croci{at}asmn.re.it

Abstract

Objectives There is increasing evidence that microRNAs (miRNAs) are deregulated in autoimmune and cardiovascular diseases. The present study aimed to identify if miRNAs are deregulated in giant cell arteritis (GCA), a vasculitis affecting large-sized and medium-sized arteries, and to determine if miRNA levels might allow to discriminate between patients with GCA and those without.

Methods 58 patients who had temporal artery biopsy (TAB) for suspected GCA were included in the study and divided into three groups: patients with TAB-positive GCA showing a transmural inflammation (n=27), patients with TAB-negative GCA (n=8) and TAB-negative non-GCA patients with a final diagnosis different from GCA (n=23). To identify candidate miRNAs deregulated in GCA, we profiled the expression of 1209 miRNAs in inflamed TABs and normal TABs. Selected miRNAs were then validated by real-time PCRs and in situ hybridisation (ISH).

Results MiR-146b-5p, -146a, -155, -150, -21 and -299-5p were significantly more expressed in inflamed TABs from patients with GCA. miRNAs were mainly deregulated at the tissue level because peripheral blood mononuclear cells and polymorphonuclear cells from the three groups of patients and age-matched healthy controls had similar levels of miRNAs. ISH showed that miR-21 was mainly expressed by cells in the medial and intimal layers of inflamed TABs. Patients with TAB-negative GCA had a miRNA profile similar to TAB-negative non-GCA patients.

Conclusions MiR-146b-5p, -146a, -21, -150, -155, -299-5p are overexpressed in the presence of inflammation in TABs from patients with GCA.

  • Giant Cell Arteritis
  • Inflammation
  • Autoimmunity

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