Micro-RNAs in inflammatory arthritis: From physiopathology to diagnosis, prognosis and therapeutic opportunities

Biochem Pharmacol. 2019 Jul;165:134-144. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2019.02.031. Epub 2019 Feb 27.


Micro-RNAs are an area of research exponentially expanding over the past years. These small sequences of 20-22 nucleotides have a strong role as post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression. Inflammatory arthritis pathophysiology involves various key players from innate to adaptive immunity, as well as various signalling pathways of inflammation. In this review, we discuss how micro-RNAs are involved in rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and juvenile inflammatory arthritis, from pre-clinical phases to established diseases. We describe mi-RNAs key roles in fibroblast like synoviocytes migration, proliferation, apoptosis and cytokine production, in macrophages polarization, as well as in B cells and T cell proliferation and differentiation, with a special emphasis on Treg/Th17 imbalance. We finally discuss the application of these findings in pre-clinical models and highlight opportunities and limits of a therapeutic approach using mi-RNAs agonists or antagonists.

Keywords: Arthritis; Fibroblasts like synoviocytes; Inflammation; Mi-RNA; Micro-RNA; Rheumatoid arthritis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnosis*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / metabolism*
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Cell Movement / immunology
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / administration & dosage
  • Immunologic Factors / metabolism
  • Inflammation Mediators / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism*
  • MicroRNAs / agonists
  • MicroRNAs / antagonists & inhibitors
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Prognosis


  • Immunologic Factors
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • MicroRNAs