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15-09-2017 | Gout | Article

MicroRNA-488 and -920 regulate the production of proinflammatory cytokines in acute gouty arthritis

Arthritis Research & Therapy

Authors: Weidong Zhou, Ying Wang, Rongfeng Wu, Yan He, Qun Su, Guixiu Shi

Publisher: BioMed Central


Gout is considered one of the most painful acute conditions caused by deposition of monosodium urate (MSU) crystals within joints. Recent studies have shown that interleukin (IL)-1β is a key inflammatory mediator in acute gouty arthritis (GA), and its level is regulated by microRNAs (miRNAs). However, the molecular mechanisms of the regulation remain unclear.
A miRNA microarray was used to analyze the miRNA expression profiles in peripheral white blood cells (WBCs) of patients with GA. THP-1 cells were transfected with miRNA mimics, stimulated by MSU crystals, and then subjected to quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction or Western blot analysis. Levels of IL-1β, IL-8, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in culture supernatants of THP-1 cells were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. A luciferase reporter assay was conducted to confirm the interaction of miRNA and IL-1β 3′-untranslated regions (UTRs).
Combining bioinformatics and miRNA expression profiles, we found five miRNAs (hsa-miR-30c-1-3p, hsa-miR-488-3p, hsa-miR-550a-3p, hsa-miR-663a, and hsa-miR-920) that possibly target IL-1β. Then, we demonstrated that miR-488 and miR-920 were significantly decreased in the WBCs of patients with GA and that MSU crystals could inhibit expression of miR-488 and miR-920. Upregulation of miR-488 and miR-920 could suppress MSU-induced IL-1β protein expression in THP-1 cells, but no significant difference in IL-1β messenger RNA levels was observed. Moreover, we found that miR-488 and miR-920 could directly target the 3′-UTR of IL-1β. Overexpression of miR-488 and miR-920 could significantly inhibit the gene and protein expression of IL-8 and TNF-α in MSU-induced THP-1 cells.
This study demonstrates the roles of miR-488 and miR-920 in regulating the production of proinflammatory cytokines in the pathogenesis of GA. These findings suggest that miR-488 and miR-920 could serve as potential therapeutic targets in the treatment of GA.

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