Objective: Diffuse alveolar hemorrhage (DAH) is a rare but life-threatening complication of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Pristane-treated B6 mice develop severe DAH within 2 weeks of treatment. MicroRNA-155 (miR-155) is a pleiotropic microRNA that plays a crucial role in the regulation of immune responses. Recent studies have revealed a pathogenic role of miR-155 in various autoimmune disorders. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of miR-155 in the development of DAH in pristane-induced lupus using miR-155-knockout (miR-155(-/-)) mice and miR-155 antagomir to silence miR-155.
Methods: DAH was induced by an intraperitoneal injection of 0.5 ml of pristane. MicroRNA-155 antagomir was administered intravenously to silence miR-155 expression. Lung tissues were collected for RNA extraction and were embedded in paraffin for sectioning. Gene expression profiling data were analyzed using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis was used for single-gene validation. Luciferase reporter assay and argonaute 2 immunoprecipitation were performed for target validation.
Results: MicroRNA-155 expression was significantly increased during the development of DAH. Disease progression was reduced in miR-155(-/-) mice as well as by in vivo silencing of miR-155 using a miR-155 antagomir. MicroRNA-155 silencing dampened pristane-induced ectopic activation of multiple inflammatory pathways and reduced the expression of proinflammatory cytokines. Several negative regulators of NF-κB signaling were inhibited by pristane and were reactivated in miR-155(-/-) mice. In particular, the antiinflammatory factor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α was identified as a direct target of miR-155.
Conclusion: MicroRNA-155 promotes pristane-induced lung inflammation. It contributes to ectopic activation of NF-κB signaling pathways by targeting multiple negative regulators. MicroRNA-155 antagomir may be a promising therapeutic strategy for treating acute lung inflammation in lupus.
© 2016, American College of Rheumatology.