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Molecular mitigation: Deleting microRNA-155 reduces autoimmune response

Posted December 27, 2013
Molecular mitigation: Deleting microRNA-155 reduces autoimmune response
Autoantigen-induced GC reactions are reduced in miR-155−/−-Faslpr mice. (A) The frequency of GC B cells within the CD19 gate using PNA-phycoerythrin (PE) and GL-7-FITC. Plots are representative of 5–10 experiments. B6 (n = 5), miR-155−/− (n = 5), miR-155−/−-Faslpr (n = 10), Faslpr (n = 10). (B) The frequency of spleen GC B cells within the CD19 gate was determined from A. Each symbol represents one mouse. (C) The frequency of pLN GC B cells within the CD19 gate was determined from A. (D) The absolute number of spleen GC B cells was calculated from B. P values were determined using the GraphPad Software Student t test. (E) Immunohistochemistry of spleens and pLNs was done using paraffin sections. Arrows indicates germinal centers stained with PNA (brown) and counterstained with hematoxylin. Blue stain indicates follicles. Credit: Copyright © PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1317632110
While our immune system protects us from myriad bacterial and viral attacks by producing antigen-specific antibodies, this process can sometimes go awry. In such cases, the antibodies target cells and tissues of our own bodies, leading to autoimmunity and a resulting autoimmune disease, examples of which include Type I diabetes, psoriasis and lupus. (Lupus produces antibodies that attack primarily the kidneys.) Recently, scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School demonstrated that ablating the regulatory molecule microRNA-155 (also referred to as miR-155), which normally promotes antibody production, prevents harmful antibody production and thereby alleviates lupus-like disease in laboratory mice. The researchers say that their results suggest the possibility of targeting microRNA-155 to treat autoimmune diseases.

Read more at: MedicalXpress

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