Research Papers:

This article has been corrected. Correction in: Oncotarget. 2017; 8:60000.

Endothelial microparticles delivering microRNA-155 into T lymphocytes are involved in the initiation of acute graft-versus-host disease following allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Ran Zhang, Xiaoxiao Wang, Mei Hong, Ting Luo, Miaomiao Zhao, Haorui Shen, Jun Fang, Xiaojie Li, Sibin Zang, Ping Chen, Dimin Nie, Peng Zheng, Qiuling Wu and Linghui Xia _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:23360-23375. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.15579

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Ran Zhang1,*, Xiaoxiao Wang1,*, Mei Hong1,*, Ting Luo1, Miaomiao Zhao1, Haorui Shen1, Jun Fang1, Xiaojie Li1, Sibin Zang1, Ping Chen1, Dimin Nie1, Peng Zheng1, Qiuling Wu1 and Linghui Xia1

1Institute of Hematology, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Linghui Xia, email: Linghuixia@mail.hust.edu.cn

Qiuling Wu, email: wuqiuling927@hotmail.com

Keywords: acute graft-versus-host disease, endothelial microparticles, microRNA-155, T lymphocytes, differentiation

Received: October 24, 2016     Accepted: February 12, 2017     Published: February 21, 2017


Endothelial microparticles (EMPs) upregulation has been observed in acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). However, the role of EMPs remains unclear. We found that EMPs derived from TNF-α-stimulated human umbilical vein endothelial cells (EA.hy926) concentrated more microRNA-155 (miR-155) compared with maternal cells. The miR-155 levels in MPs from peripheral blood of aGVHD patients and mice were remarkably elevated and significantly higher than the levels in plasma. Moreover, the rising peak of miR-155 in MPs occurred significantly prior to the peak in T lymphocytes. Additionally, we observed fluorescently-labeled miR-155 in EMPs actively transported into recipient T lymphocytes. Inhibition of miR-155 in EMPs by antagomir-155 did not influence the proliferation and apoptosis of T lymphocytes, but induced defective differentiation toward Th1, Th9 and Th17 cells and skewed differentiation toward Th2 and Treg cells. Furthermore, intravenous injection of miR-155-deficient-EMPs into aGVHD mice significantly attenuated the exacerbation of aGVHD manifestations and abnormal T lymphocytes differentiation induced by high concentration EMPs. Taken together, these data provide a mechanistic framework in which miR-155 delivered by EMPs is involved in aGVHD pathogenesis by activating specific T lymphocytes functions. The results may provide new therapeutic approaches for aGVHD while preserving graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) effect.

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