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Exp Dermatol. 2013 Dec;22(12):832-3. doi: 10.1111/exd.12245. Epub 2013 Oct 14.

Hair miR-29a levels are decreased in patients with scleroderma.

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Department of Dermatology and Plastic Surgery, Faculty of Life Sciences, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan.


In the present study, we evaluated the possibility that we can utilize hair shaft miR-29a levels as disease marker of scleroderma. Hair samples were obtained from 20 scleroderma patients, five dermatomyositis patients and 13 controls. microRNAs were purified from hairs as well as skins or sera, and miR-29a levels were measured with quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Mean hair miR-29a levels in scleroderma patients were significantly lower than those in control subjects or dermatomyositis, while expression levels of hair shaft marker keratin 34 were similar among them. There was no strong correlation among the miR-29a levels in the hair, skin and serum of each patient, suggesting that hair microRNAs can be independent biomarkers. We found scleroderma patients with decreased miR-29a levels had contracture of the phalanges at a significantly higher prevalence than those without. To confirm the clinical usefulness of hair microRNAs, large-scale researches are needed in the future.


collagen; dermatology; microRNA

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