Bioimpacts. 2018;8(3):177-183.
doi: 10.15171/bi.2018.20
PMID: 30211077
PMCID: PMC6128973
Scopus id: 85050672483
WOS: 000442045800004
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Original Research

Altered levels of immune-regulatory microRNAs in plasma samples of patients with lupus nephritis


Introduction: Lupus nephritis (LN) is a major cause of mortality and morbidity in the patients with lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease. The role of genetic and epigenetic factors is emphasized in the pathogenesis of LN. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the levels of immune-regulatory microRNAs (e.g., miR-31, miR-125a, miR-142-3p, miR-146a, and miR-155) in plasma samples of patients with LN.
Methods: In this study, 26 patients with LN and 26 healthy individuals were included. The plasma levels of the microRNAs were evaluated by a quantitative real-time PCR. Moreover, the correlation of circulating plasma microRNAs with disease activity and pathological findings along with their ability to distinguish patients with LN were assessed.
Results: Plasma levels of miR-125a (P = 0.048), miR-146a (P = 0.005), and miR-155 (P< 0.001) were significantly higher in comparison between the cases and controls. The plasma level of miR-146a significantly correlated with the level of anti-double strand-DNA antibody and proteinuria. Moreover, there was a significant correlation between miR-142-3p levels and disease chronicity and activity index (P <0.05). The multivariate ROC curve analysis indicated the plasma circulating miR-125a, miR-142-3p, miR-146, and miR-155 together could discriminate most of the patients with LN from controls with area an under curve (AUC) of 0.89 [95% CI, 0.80-0.98, P<0.001], 88% sensitivity, and 78% specificity.
Conclusion: Based on the findings of the present study, the studied microRNAs may be involved in the pathogenesis and development of LN and have the potential to be used as diagnostic and therapeutic markers in LN.
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Submitted: 24 Nov 2017
Revised: 16 Mar 2018
Accepted: 07 Apr 2018
First published online: 14 Apr 2018
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