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Autoimmune Dis. 2010 Nov 11;2011:807426. doi: 10.4061/2011/807426.

MicroRNAs and Multiple Sclerosis.

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Department of Neuroscience, Health Science Institute, Dokuz Eylul University, Inciralti, 35340 Izmir, Turkey.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have recently emerged as a new class of modulators of gene expression. miRNAs control protein synthesis by targeting mRNAs for translational repression or degradation at the posttranscriptional level. These noncoding RNAs are endogenous, single-stranded molecules approximately 22 nucleotides in length and have roles in multiple facets of immunity, from regulation of development of key cellular players to activation and function in immune responses. Recent studies have shown that dysregulation of miRNAs involved in immune responses leads to autoimmunity. Multiple sclerosis (MS) serves as an example of a chronic and organ-specific autoimmune disease in which miRNAs modulate immune responses in the peripheral immune compartment and the neuroinflammatory process in the brain. For MS, miRNAs have the potential to serve as modifying drugs. In this review, we summarize current knowledge of miRNA biogenesis and mode of action and the diverse roles of miRNAs in modulating the immune and inflammatory responses. We also review the role of miRNAs in autoimmunity, focusing on emerging data regarding miRNA expression patterns in MS. Finally, we discuss the potential of miRNAs as a disease marker and a novel therapeutic target in MS. Better understanding of the role of miRNAs in MS will improve our knowledge of the pathogenesis of this disease.

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