Reduced DICER1 Expression Bestows Rheumatoid Arthritis Synoviocytes Proinflammatory Properties and Resistance to Apoptotic Stimuli

Arthritis Rheumatol. 2016 Aug;68(8):1839-48. doi: 10.1002/art.39641.


Objective: While the regulatory role of individual microRNAs (miRNAs) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is well established, the role of DICER1 in the pathogenesis of the disease has not yet been investigated. The purpose of this study was to analyze the expression of factors involved in miRNA biogenesis in fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) from RA patients and to monitor the arthritis triggered by K/BxN serum transfer in mice deficient in the Dicer gene (Dicer(d/d) ).

Methods: The expression of genes and precursor miRNAs was quantified by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). MicroRNA macroarray profiling was monitored by qRT-PCR. Cytokines were quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Experimental arthritis in mice was achieved by the transfer of serum from K/BxN donors. Apoptosis was quantified using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Results: We found decreased DICER1 and mature miRNA expression in synovial fibroblasts from RA patients. These cells were hyperresponsive to lipopolysaccharide, as evidenced by their increased interleukin-6 secretion upon stimulation. Experimental serum-transfer arthritis in Dicer(d/d) mice confirmed that an unbalanced biogenesis of miRNAs correlated with an enhanced inflammatory response. Synoviocytes from both RA patients and Dicer(d/d) mice exhibited increased resistance to apoptotic stimuli.

Conclusion: The findings of this study further substantiate the important role of DICER1 in the maintenance of homeostasis and the regulation of inflammatory responses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / genetics*
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / genetics
  • Mice
  • Ribonuclease III / genetics*
  • Synoviocytes / physiology*


  • Dicer1 protein, mouse
  • Ribonuclease III
  • DEAD-box RNA Helicases