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Circulating microRNAs correlate to clinical parameters in individuals with allergic and non-allergic asthma

Journal article
Authors Julie Weidner
Linda Ekerljung
Carina Malmhäll
N. Miron
Madeleine Rådinger
Published in Respiratory Research
Volume 21
Issue 1
ISSN 1465-993X
Publication year 2020
Published at Krefting Research Centre
Language en
Subject categories Internal medicine


Background Asthma is a chronic airway disease affecting millions of people. Better methods to define asthma subgroups using clinical parameters and molecular biomarkers are crucial in the development of personalized medicine. Objective The aim of this study was to determine if circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) may be used to distinguish well-defined asthma groups. Methods Blood serum from 116 well-defined subjects, including healthy controls and individuals with allergic or non-allergic asthma, from the West Sweden Asthma Study were included. Serum was analyzed for circulating miRNA expression of miR-126, - 145, -146a, - 155, - 223, and -374a and eosinophil cationic protein (ECP). Correlations between clinical characteristics and circulating miRNA expression as well as potential miRNA gene targets were investigated. Results A subset of miRNAs were differentially expressed between allergic and non-allergic asthmatic individuals. Alterations in expression of miR-155, -146a, -374a and - 145 were observed in allergic asthmatics in response to inhaled corticosteroid usage. Additionally, miR-223 and miR-374a expression varied in non-allergic asthmatics based on blood eosinophil numbers. Numerous clinical parameters, including lung function measurements, correlated with subsets of miRNAs. Finally, pathway analysis revealed a potential role for inhaled corticosteroid induced miRNAs in leukocyte regulation, IL-6 signaling and glucocorticoid response. Conclusion Circulating miRNA expression was altered in subjects with allergic and non-allergic asthma and correlated to clinical parameters including lung function and potential gene targets involved in immune processes. This combination of clinical and molecular data may be a basis for the further, more precise classification of asthma subgroups. Taken together, these findings would further asthma research and benefit future patients through the discovery of molecular mechanisms as well as identifying asthma subgroups contributing to the development of personalized medicine.

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