Comparison of The Expression of miR-326 between Interferon beta Responders and Non-Responders in Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Biology, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran ;Applied Physiology Research Centre, Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Institute, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, I

3 4Department of Neurology, Isfahan Neurosciences Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

4 5Department of Genetic and Molecular Biology, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory disease resulting in demyelination of the central nervous system (CNS). T helper 17 (Th17) subset protects the human body against pathogens and induces neuroinflammation, which leads to neurodegeneration. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a specific class of small (~22 nt) non-coding RNAs that act as post-transcriptional regulators. The expression of the miR-326 is highly associated with the pathogenesis of MS disease in patients through the promotion of Th17 development. Recently, studies showed that disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) could balance the dysregulation of miRNAs in the immune cells of patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS). Interferon-beta (IFN-β) has emerged as one of the most common drugs for the treatment of RR-MS patients. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the expression of the miR-326 in RRMS patients who were responders and non- responders to IFN-β treatment.
Materials and Methods
In this cross-sectional study, a total of 70 patients (35 responders and 35 non-responders) were enrolled. We analyzed the expression of the miR-326 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of RRMS patients at least one year after the initiation of IFN-β therapy. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was applied to measure the expression of the miR-326.
The results showed no substantial change in the expression of the miR-326 between responders and non- responders concerning the treatment with IFN-β. Although the expression of the miR-326 was slightly reduced in IFN-β-responders compared with IFN-β-non-responders; however, the reduction of the miR-326 was not statistically significant.
Overall, since IFN-β doesn’t normalize abnormal expression of miR-326, this might suggest that IFN-β affects Th17 development through epigenetic mechanisms other than miR-326 regulation.