Document Type : Original Article
Division of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran
Division of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran;Department of Cellular Biotechnology, Cell Science Research Center, Royan Institute for Biotech
Department of Cellular Biotechnology, Cell Science Research Center, Royan Institute for Biotechnology, ACECR, Isfahan, Iran
Department of Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
4Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
MicroRNAs (miRNA) are a class of non-coding RNAs which play key roles in post-transcriptional gene regulation. Previous studies indicate that miRNAs are dysregulated in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Th17 and regulatory T (Treg) cells are two subsets of CD4+T-cells which have critical functions in the onset and progression of MS. The current study seeks to distinguish fluctuations in expression of CD4+T-cell derived miR-223 during the relapsing-remitting (RR) phase of MS (RR-MS), as well as the expressions of Th17 and Treg cell markers.
Materials and Methods
This experimental study used real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) to evaluate CD4+ T cell derived miR-223 expression patterns in patients that experienced either of the RR-MS phases (n=40) compared to healthy controls (n=12), along with RNA markers for Th17 and Treg cells. We conducted flow cytometry analyses of forkhead box P3 (FOXP3) and RAR-related orphan receptor γt (RORγt) in CD4+T-cells. Putative and validated targets of miR-223 were investigated in the miRWalk and miRTarBase databases, respectively.
miR-223 significantly upregulated in CD4+T-cells during the relapsing phase of RR-MS compared to the remitting phase (P=0.000) and healthy individuals (P=0.036). Expression of RORγt, a master transcription factor of Th17, upregulated in the relapsing phase, whereas FOXP3 upregulated in the remitting phase. Additionally, potential targets of miR-223, STAT1, FORKHEAD BOX O (FOXO1) and FOXO3 were predicted by in silico studies.
miR-223 may have a potential role in MS progression. Therefore, suppression of miR-223 can be proposed as an appropriate approach to control progression of the relapsing phase of MS.