Research Papers:

Altered microRNAs expression in T cells of patients with SLE involved in the lack of vitamin D

Lan-Ju Li _, Xiao-Ke Yang, Tao Yu, Rui-Xue Leng, Hai-Feng Pan and Dong-Qing Ye

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:62099-62110. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.19062

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Dao-Jun Chen1,2, Lan-Ju Li1,2, Xiao-Ke Yang1,2, Tao Yu1,2, Rui-Xue Leng1,2, Hai-Feng Pan1,2 and Dong-Qing Ye1,2

1Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui, China

2Anhui Province Key Laboratory of Major Autoimmune Diseases, Hefei, Anhui, China

Correspondence to:

Dong-Qing Ye, email: [email protected], [email protected]

Keywords: microRNA, vitamin D, SLE, T cells

Received: August 15, 2016    Accepted: May 31, 2017    Published: July 07, 2017


Vitamin D has been recognized as a potent immunomodulator and its deficiency is common in different population groups including patients with SLE. As miRNAs regulation plays a significant role in SLE, the present study aimed to evaluate the association between vitamin D status and miRNAs levels in patients with SLE. The serum concentrations of vitamin D (25-hydroxyvitamin D) and the levels of six miRNAs in T cells from patients with SLE were measured in 42 SLE cases and 48 healthy controls. Vitamin D treatment was also performed in isolated and cultured T cells from SLE patients in different times and doses. Vitamin D insufficiency (25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration<20 ng/ml) was more common in cases than in controls. Although age and BMI were similar, cases had significantly lower concentrations of miRNA-377, miRNA-342, miRNA-10a, miRNA-374b, miRNA-125a, and miRNA-410 than controls. Furthermore, a significant positive correlation was also observed between 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations and measured miRNAs levels. A significant difference in observed miRNAs levels was also observed in patients with 25-hydroxyvitamin D insufficiency compared with patients with 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration≥20 ng/ml. And 1α,25(OH)2D3 differentially regulated miRNAs expression in dose- and time- manner in vitro. Lower expressions of miRNA-377, miRNA-342, miRNA-10a, miRNA-374b, miRNA-125a, and miRNA-410 were found in SLE patients. And severe vitamin D deficiency is associated with decreased observed miRNAs levels in SLE patients. A 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration value<20 ng/ml is suggested as the “cut-off” for such immunological alterations in patients with SLE.

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