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Psoriasis is an immune-mediated disease with interactions between genetic and environmental factors. An increasing number of studies are demonstrating the importance of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the pathogenesis of psoriasis. miR-146a, a dominant negative regulator of inflammation, has been consistently reported as overexpressed in the skin and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of patients with psoriasis. Expression and/or function of this miRNA is highly influenced by genetic variations, some of which have already been associated with susceptibility to psoriasis. We sought to study the importance of miR-146a in patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis and to understand the impact of rs57095329 and rs2910164 polymorphisms in a psoriatic Portuguese population. miR-146a circulating levels were quantified using molecular biology techniques in 99 patients with moderate-to-severe psoriasis (35 female, 64 male; age 47.4 ± 10.9 years) and 78 healthy individuals (52 female, 26 male; age 42.4 ± 10.1 years). miRNA expression was correlated with clinicopathological features as well as with genetic data such as the presence of human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-C*0602 allele and two miR-146a polymorphisms (rs2910164 and rs57095329). miR-146a serum levels were 3.7-fold higher in patients with psoriasis than in controls (p < 0.0001, area under the curve [AUC] 0.75; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.66-0.83). Of note, miR-146a circulating levels positively correlated with Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (p < 0.05) and body surface area (p < 0.05) indexes. No variations in miR-146a levels were observed with rs2910164 and rs57095329 genotypes. Circulating miR-146a levels were upregulated in patients with psoriasis, especially in those with active disease. To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest study with a homogenous psoriasis population, and our data could shed light on the pathogenesis of psoriasis, paving the way for new avenues for disease treatment.


Bárbara Leal, Cláudia Carvalho, Ana Marta Ferreira, Miguel Nogueira, Sandra Brás, Berta M Silva, Manuela Selores, Paulo P Costa, Tiago Torres. Serum Levels of miR-146a in Patients with Psoriasis. Molecular diagnosis & therapy. 2021 May 02

PMID: 33937970

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