Int J Med Sci 2014; 11(8):810-818. doi:10.7150/ijms.8647 This issue


Expression, Regulation and Function of MicroRNAs in Multiple Sclerosis

Xinting Ma1, Juhua Zhou1✉, Yin Zhong2, Linlin Jiang1, Ping Mu1, Yanmin Li1, Narendra Singh2, Mitzi Nagarkatti2, Prakash Nagarkatti2

1. Institute for Tumor Immunology, Ludong University College of Life Sciences, 186 Hongqi Middle Road, Yantai, Shandong 264025, China
2. Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, University of South Carolina, 6439 Garners Ferry Road, Columbia, SC 29209, USA

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Ma X, Zhou J, Zhong Y, Jiang L, Mu P, Li Y, Singh N, Nagarkatti M, Nagarkatti P. Expression, Regulation and Function of MicroRNAs in Multiple Sclerosis. Int J Med Sci 2014; 11(8):810-818. doi:10.7150/ijms.8647. Available from

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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are single-stranded 19-25 nucleotide-long RNAs and have an important role in post-transcriptional gene silencing. It has been demonstrated that miRNAs are dysregulated in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). For instance, miR-21, miR-142-3p, miR-146a, miR-146b, miR-155 and miR-326 were up-regulated in both peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and brain white matter lesions from MS patients and mouse model as well. These up-regulated miRNAs may be used as a signature for MS and play critical roles in MS pathogenesis. Moreover, miR-15a, miR-19a, miR-22, miR-210 and miR-223 were up-regulated in both regulatory T cells (Tregs) and other samples such as plasma, blood cells, PBMCs and brain white matter tissues from MS patients, suggesting that these up-regulated miRNAs and Tregs may also play a role in MS pathogenesis. Contrarily, other miRNAs such as miR-15a, miR-15b, miR-181c and miR-328 were down-regulated in MS. Drugs such as interferon-β and glatiramer acetate for MS treatment may regulate miRNA expression and thus have benefits for MS patients. The dysregulated miRNAs such as miR-155 and miR-326 may be used as diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets for MS.

Keywords: miRNA, multiple sclerosis, biomarker, therapeutic target, gene expression, gene regulation