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Exploring the Extracellular Vesicle MicroRNA Expression Repertoire in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis Treated with TNF Inhibitors

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Rachel CrosslandORCiD, Professor Anne Dickinson



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2021 Joanna Wielińska et al. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS) belong to the most common inflammatory rheumatic diseases. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small 18-22 RNA molecules that function as posttranscriptional regulators. They are abundantly present within extracellular vesicles (EVs), small intercellular communication vesicles that can be found in bodily fluids and that have key functions in pathological and physiological pathways. Recently, EVs have gained much interest because of their diagnostic and therapeutic potential. Using NanoString profiling technology, the miRNA repertoire of serum EVs was determined and compared in RA and AS patients before and after anti-TNF therapy to assess its potential use as a diagnostic and prognostic biomarker. Furthermore, possible functional effects of those miRNAs that were characterized by the most significant expression changes were evaluated using in silico prediction algorithms. The analysis revealed a unique profile of differentially expressed miRNAs in RA and AS patient serum EVs. We identified 12 miRNAs whose expression profiles enabled differentiation between RA and AS patients before induction of anti-TNF treatment, as well as 4 and 14 miRNAs whose repertoires were significantly changed during the treatment in RA and AS patients, respectively. In conclusion, our findings suggest that extracellular vesicle miRNAs could be used as potential biomarkers associated with RA and AS response to biological treatment.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wielinska J, Crossland RE, Lacina P, Swierkot J, Bugaj B, Dickinson AM, Bogunia-Kubik K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Disease Markers

Year: 2021

Volume: 2021

Online publication date: 30/09/2021

Acceptance date: 03/09/2021

Date deposited: 04/11/2021

ISSN (print): 0278-0240

ISSN (electronic): 1875-8630

Publisher: Hindawi Limited


DOI: 10.1155/2021/2924935


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