Dysregulation of microRNA146a-5p expression in systemic lupus erythematosus females: Diagnostic potential and association with ocular manifestations

Citation:
Labib, D. A., D. Koptan, S. Ghoniem, S. H. Salah, R. [E. Shazly], and R. [E. M. Refai], "Dysregulation of microRNA146a-5p expression in systemic lupus erythematosus females: Diagnostic potential and association with ocular manifestations", The Egyptian Rheumatologist, vol. 42, no. 2, pp. 117 - 121, 2020.

Abstract:

Background Micro-ribonucleic acids (miRNA) are key regulators for the expression of related target genes and their aberrant expression has a substantial role across many pathways within autoimmunity. Aim of the work To evaluate the expression of miRNA-146a-5p in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients and to assess its relation to the disease activity and various disease parameters with specific focus on the ocular manifestations. Patients and methods 42 female SLE patients and 39 matched healthy individuals were enrolled in this study. The serum level of miRNA146a-5p was evaluated by a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) (Taqman technology). Results The mean age of the patients was 29 ± 9.1 years. The serum level of miRNA146a-5p was significantly higher in SLE cases (3.21 ± 4.47 fold change) compared to the controls (1.54 ± 1.66 fold change) (p = 0.001). A significant negative association was found between the serum level of miRNA146a-5p and C4 level (p = 0.018). Expression levels of miRNA146a-5p were significantly decreased in patients with photosensitivity (p = 0.006). Regarding ocular manifestations, a lower level of miRNA146a-5p was detected in patients suffering from dry eyes, cataract, keratitis and drusen compared to patients without and a higher level was found in those suffering from retinopathy. Serum miRNA146a-5p at a cut off value of 1.36 could discriminate patients from controls (95%CI: 0.61–0.84; p = 0.001) at a sensitivity of 69% and specificity of 64.1%. Conclusion These findings suggest that miR-146a-5p could be a potential diagnostic biomarker in SLE and may implicate a functional role in the pathophysiology of the ocular manifestations in the disease.

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