'Atherothrombosis-associated microRNAs in Antiphospholipid syndrome and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus patients'

Sci Rep. 2016 Aug 9;6:31375. doi: 10.1038/srep31375.


MicroRNAs markedly affect the immune system, and have a relevant role in CVD and autoimmune diseases. Yet, no study has analyzed their involvement in atherothrombosis related to APS and SLE patients. This study intended to: 1) identify and characterize microRNAs linked to CVD in APS and SLE; 2) assess the effects of specific autoantibodies. Six microRNAs, involved in atherothrombosis development, were quantified in purified leukocytes from 23 APS and 64 SLE patients, and 56 healthy donors. Levels of microRNAs in neutrophils were lower in APS and SLE than in healthy donors. Gene and protein expression of miRNA biogenesis-related molecules were also reduced. Accordingly, more than 75% of identified miRNAs by miRNA profiling were underexpressed. In monocytes, miR124a and -125a were low, while miR-146a and miR-155 appeared elevated. Altered microRNAs' expression was linked to autoimmunity, thrombosis, early atherosclerosis, and oxidative stress in both pathologies. In vitro treatment of neutrophils, monocytes, and ECs with aPL-IgG or anti-dsDNA-IgG antibodies deregulated microRNAs expression, and decreased miRNA biogenesis-related proteins. Monocyte transfections with pre-miR-124a and/or -125a caused reduction in atherothrombosis-related target molecules. In conclusion, microRNA biogenesis, significantly altered in neutrophils of APS and SLE patients, is associated to their atherothrombotic status, further modulated by specific autoantibodies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome / blood*
  • Autoantibodies / blood
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Carotid Intima-Media Thickness
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Computational Biology
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Inflammation
  • Leukocytes / cytology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / blood*
  • Male
  • MicroRNAs / blood*
  • Middle Aged
  • Monocytes / cytology
  • Neutrophils / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Thrombosis / blood*
  • Transfection


  • Autoantibodies
  • Biomarkers
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • MIRN124 microRNA, human
  • MIRN125 microRNA, human
  • MIRN146 microRNA, human
  • MIRN155 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs