Research Papers: Immunology:

Plasma microRNA expression profiles in Chinese patients with rheumatoid arthritis

Wenhong Wang, Yingying Zhang, Bo Zhu, Tanghai Duan, Qiugui Xu, Rui Wang, Liwei Lu and Zhijun Jiao _

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:42557-42568. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.6449

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Wenhong Wang1,2, Yingying Zhang1, Bo Zhu1, Tanghai Duan1, Qiugui Xu1, Rui Wang1, Liwei Lu3 and Zhijun Jiao1

1 Zhenjiang Key Laboratory of Medical Immunology, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Affiliated Hospital of Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, China

2 Department of Pathogenic Biology, School of Medicine, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, China

3 Department of Pathology and Center of Infection and Immunology, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Correspondence to:

Zhijun Jiao, email:

Liwei Lu, email:

Keywords: rheumatoid arthritis, microRNA, array, cytokine, chemokine, Immunology and Microbiology Section, Immune response, Immunity

Received: July 03, 2015 Accepted: November 21, 2015 Published: December 02, 2015


The outstanding characteristics of circulatory microRNAs (miRNAs) attract much attention in research on disease biomarkers and disease pathogenesis. This study aimed to identify the expression profiles of plasma miRNAs in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Thirty-three miRNAs were screened using an miRNA array, of which 9 miRNAs were validated as differentially expressed in the plasma of RA patients compared with healthy controls (HCs). miRNA-4634 (miR-4634), miR-181d and miR-4764-5p expression levels were increased, whereas miR-342-3p, miR-3926, miR-3925-3p, miR-122-3p, miR-9-5p and miR-219-2-3p expression levels were decreased in RA patients. The areas under the curve (AUCs) were generated to estimate the sensitivity and specificity of each miRNA or the panel of all 9 miRNAs as biomarkers for RA. AUCs for 9 individual miRNAs ranged from 0.6254 to 0.818; however, the AUC for the panel of 9 miRNAs reached 0.964. Levels of miR-122-3p, miR-3925-3p, miR-342-3p and miR-4764-5p expression showed significant differences between RA and other control groups. miR-4764-5p, miR-4634, miR-9-5p and miR-219-2-3p exhibited significant correlations with either plasma cytokine and chemokine levels or clinical features. In conclusion, this study identified 9-plasma miRNAs signature in Chinese patients with RA which may serve as noninvasive biomarkers for the diagnosis of RA.

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