Int J Med Sci 2017; 14(7):622-628. doi:10.7150/ijms.18972 This issue

Research Paper

MicroRNA Expression Analysis of Centenarians and Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Reveals a Common Expression Pattern

Francesca Balzano1, Marta Deiana2, Silvia Dei Giudici3, Annalisa Oggiano3, Sara Pasella1, Sara Pinna1, Andrea Mannu1, Nicola Deiana2, Baingio Porcu1, Antonio G.E. Masala3, Piera V. Pileri3, Fabrizio Scognamillo4, Carlo Pala4, Angelo Zinellu1, Ciriaco Carru1, Luca Deiana1,2✉

1. Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Sassari, vl. San Pietro 43b, Sassari 07100, Italy;
2. Associazione “L'Isola dei Centenari”, Via Milano 4, Sassari 07100, Italy;
3. Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Sardegna, Via Vienna 2, Sassari 07100, Italy;
4. Internal Medicine 1, A.O.U.University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy;
5. Surgical Pathology, A.O.U. University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) license ( See for full terms and conditions.
Balzano F, Deiana M, Dei Giudici S, Oggiano A, Pasella S, Pinna S, Mannu A, Deiana N, Porcu B, Masala AGE, Pileri PV, Scognamillo F, Pala C, Zinellu A, Carru C, Deiana L. MicroRNA Expression Analysis of Centenarians and Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Reveals a Common Expression Pattern. Int J Med Sci 2017; 14(7):622-628. doi:10.7150/ijms.18972. Available from

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Micro-RNA (miRNA) are a family of small non-coding ribonucleic acids that inhibits post-transcriptionally the expression of their target messenger RNA (mRNA). We are interested in studying the involvement of miRNA in longevity and autoimmune diseases. In this study we compared the different expression of seven microRNAs between human plasma healthy controls, plasma samples of centenarians and samples from patients with rheumatoid arthritis. We used the Life Technologies' protocol to quantify seven miRNAs from 62 plasma samples: 20 healthy human controls, 14 centenarians, 28 patients with rheumatoid arthritis. TaqMan MicroRNA assays were used to analyze the expression profiles of miR-125b-5p, miR-425-5p, miR-200b5p, miR-200c-3p, miR-579-3p, miR-212-3p, miR-21-5p and miR-126-3p. The relative expression of mature miRNAs was analyzed using software REST. Our results show that miR-425-5p, miR-21 and miR-212 significantly decreased in centenarians and in patients with rheumatoid arthritis compared with controls. Furthermore in this work we highlight a connection between corticosteroid treatment and miRNAs expression.

Keywords: miRNA, centenarians, autoimmune diseases, glucocorticoids