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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2013 Jul;132(1):3-13; quiz 14. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2013.04.039. Epub 2013 Jun 2.

Diagnostic, functional, and therapeutic roles of microRNA in allergic diseases.

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Division of Allergy and Immunology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229, USA.


Allergic inflammation is accompanied by the coordinated expression of a myriad of genes and proteins that initiate, sustain, and propagate immune responses and tissue remodeling. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of short single-stranded RNA molecules that posttranscriptionally silence gene expression and have been shown to fine-tune gene transcriptional networks because single miRNAs can target hundreds of genes. Considerable attention has been focused on the key role of miRNAs in regulating homeostatic immune architecture and acquired immunity. Recent studies have identified miRNA profiles in multiple allergic inflammatory diseases, including asthma, eosinophilic esophagitis, allergic rhinitis, and atopic dermatitis. Specific miRNAs have been found to have critical roles in regulating key pathogenic mechanisms in allergic inflammation, including polarization of adaptive immune responses and activation of T cells (eg, miR-21 and miR-146), regulation of eosinophil development (eg, miR-21 and miR-223), and modulation of IL-13-driven epithelial responses (eg, miR-375). This review discusses recent advances in our understanding of the expression and function of miRNAs in patients with allergic inflammation, their role as disease biomarkers, and perspectives for future investigation and clinical utility.

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