MicroRNA markers of inflammation and remodelling in temporal arteries from patients with giant cell arteritis

Stefania Croci, Alessandro Zerbini, Luigi Boiardi, Francesco Muratore, Alessandra Bisagni, Davide Nicoli, Enrico Farnetti, Giulia Pazzola, Luca Cimino, Antonio Moramarco, Alberto Cavazza, Bruno Casali, Maria Parmeggiani, Carlo Salvarani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives There is increasing evidence that microRNAs (miRNAs) are deregulated in autoimmune and cardiovascular diseases. The present study aimed to identify if miRNAs are deregulated in giant cell arteritis (GCA), a vasculitis affecting large-sized and medium-sized arteries, and to determine if miRNA levels might allow to discriminate between patients with GCA and those without. Methods 58 patients who had temporal artery biopsy (TAB) for suspected GCA were included in the study and divided into three groups: patients with TAB-positive GCA showing a transmural inflammation (n=27), patients with TAB-negative GCA (n=8) and TAB-negative non-GCA patients with a final diagnosis different from GCA (n=23). To identify candidate miRNAs deregulated in GCA, we profiled the expression of 1209 miRNAs in inflamed TABs and normal TABs. Selected miRNAs were then validated by real-time PCRs and in situ hybridisation (ISH). Results MiR-146b-5p, -146a, -155, -150, -21 and -299-5p were significantly more expressed in inflamed TABs from patients with GCA. miRNAs were mainly deregulated at the tissue level because peripheral blood mononuclear cells and polymorphonuclear cells from the three groups of patients and age-matched healthy controls had similar levels of miRNAs. ISH showed that miR-21 was mainly expressed by cells in the medial and intimal layers of inflamed TABs. Patients with TAB-negative GCA had a miRNA profile similar to TAB-negative non-GCA patients. Conclusions MiR-146b-5p, -146a, -21, -150, -155, -299-5p are overexpressed in the presence of inflammation in TABs from patients with GCA.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of the Rheumatic Diseases
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Sep 4 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Allergy


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