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PLoS One. 2009 Jul 20;4(7):e6309. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006309.

Differential micro RNA expression in PBMC from multiple sclerosis patients.

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Multiple Sclerosis Unit, Biodonostia Institute, San Sebastián, Spain.


Differences in gene expression patterns have been documented not only in Multiple Sclerosis patients versus healthy controls but also in the relapse of the disease. Recently a new gene expression modulator has been identified: the microRNA or miRNA. The aim of this work is to analyze the possible role of miRNAs in multiple sclerosis, focusing on the relapse stage. We have analyzed the expression patterns of 364 miRNAs in PBMC obtained from multiple sclerosis patients in relapse status, in remission status and healthy controls. The expression patterns of the miRNAs with significantly different expression were validated in an independent set of samples. In order to determine the effect of the miRNAs, the expression of some predicted target genes of these were studied by qPCR. Gene interaction networks were constructed in order to obtain a co-expression and multivariate view of the experimental data. The data analysis and later validation reveal that two miRNAs (hsa-miR-18b and hsa-miR-599) may be relevant at the time of relapse and that another miRNA (hsa-miR-96) may be involved in remission. The genes targeted by hsa-miR-96 are involved in immunological pathways as Interleukin signaling and in other pathways as wnt signaling. This work highlights the importance of miRNA expression in the molecular mechanisms implicated in the disease. Moreover, the proposed involvement of these small molecules in multiple sclerosis opens up a new therapeutic approach to explore and highlight some candidate biomarker targets in MS.

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