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Exp Ther Med. 2018 Jul;16(1):406-412. doi: 10.3892/etm.2018.6153. Epub 2018 May 11.

Lung injury caused by paraquat poisoning results in increased interleukin-6 and decreased microRNA-146a levels.

Author information

1
Department of Respiratory Medicine, Affiliated Hospital of Jining Medical University, Jining, Shandong 272029, P.R. China.
2
Emergency Department, Affiliated Hospital of Jining Medical University, Jining, Shandong 272029, P.R. China.

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to investigate the expression of microRNA (miR)-146a in the pulmonary macrophages, peripheral blood mononuclear cells and serum of patients with lung injury caused by paraquat poisoning, as well as the underlying mechanism of its regulation in the disease. A total of 26 patients with lung injury caused by paraquat poisoning were included in the present study. In addition, 33 healthy subjects were included as the control group. The expression levels of interleukin (IL)-6 mRNA and miR-146a was determined by reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). Western blotting was used to measure IL-6 protein expression, while enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was also performed to determine the secretion of IL-6 protein. A dual-luciferase reporter assay was conducted to examine whether IL-6 mRNA is a direct target of miR-146a. Patients with lung injury caused by paraquat poisoning exhibited higher IL-6 mRNA and protein levels as compared with those in healthy subjects. In addition, miR-146a expression in patients with paraquat poisoning-induced lung injury was significantly reduced in comparison with that in healthy subjects. Notably, the overexpression of miR-146a by mimic transfection downregulated the expression of IL-6 in pulmonary macrophages. The results of dual-luciferase reporter assay demonstrated that IL-6 mRNA was a direct target of miR-146a. Therefore, the present study demonstrated that increased expression of IL-6 in patients with lung injury caused by paraquat poisoning is associated with decreased expression of miR-146a. Furthermore, miR-146a may regulate the occurrence and immune response of lung injury caused by paraquat poisoning and this process is possibly achieved via IL-6, an important cytokine that mediates inflammation.

KEYWORDS:

interleukin-6; lung injury; microRNA-146a; paraquat poisoning

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