Altered circular RNA expression profiles in an ovalbumin-induced murine model of allergic rhinitis

Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2021 Mar 1;49(2):94-103. doi: 10.15586/aei.v49i2.33. eCollection 2021.


Background: Emerging evidence shows that circular RNAs (circRNAs) participate in the pathogenesis of multiple immune diseases. However, few studies have focused on the mechanisms of circRNAs involved in allergic rhinitis (AR).

Methods: This study performed an RNA sequence (RNA-seq) profiling to identify the expression of circRNAs in nasal mucosa from ovalbumin-induced AR murine models and normal controls. Quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was then conducted to validate the differential expression of circRNAs. Bioinformatics analysis was applied to demonstrate the biological functions of the dysregulated circRNAs.

Results: A total of 86 distinct circRNA candidates were sequenced, of which 51 were upregulated and 35 were downregulated. The T cell receptor, B cell receptor, and calcium signaling pathways may be involved in the pathology of AR. Furthermore, a circRNA-miRNA interaction network was constructed via miRNA response elements analysis. Some circRNAs were correlated with miRNAs that are involved in T cell polarization and activation, thereby highlighting their potential role in the pathogenesis of AR.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates a number of aberrantly expressed circRNAs related to AR, and offers a novel perspective into AR pathogenesis and future therapeutic strategies.

Keywords: RNA sequencing; allergic rhinitis; bioinformatics; circular RNA; murine model.