Get your full text copy in PDF
Kaijun Li, Yi Du, Ben-Li Jiang, Jian-Feng He
(Department of Ophthalmology, First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, China (mainland))
Med Sci Monit 2014; 20:639-643
Graves’ ophthalmopathy is an inflammatory autoimmune disease of the orbit, characterized by inflammation and proliferation of the orbital tissue caused by CD4+T cells and orbital fibroblasts. Despite recent substantial findings regarding its cellular and molecular foundations, the pathogenesis of Graves’ ophthalmopathy remains unclear. Accumulating data suggest that microRNAs play important roles in the pathophysiology of autoimmunity and proliferation. Specifically, microRNA-155 (miR-155) can promote autoimmune inflammation by enhancing inflammatory T cell development. In contrast to miR-155, microRNA-146a (miR-146a) can inhibit the immune response by suppressing T cell activation. Furthermore, miR-155 and miR-146a are involved in cell proliferation, differentiation, and many other life processes. Thus, miR-155 and miR-146a, with opposite impacts on inflammatory responses carried out by T lymphocytes, appear to have multiple targets in the pathogenesis of Graves’ ophthalmopathy. Our previous work showed that the expression of miR-146a was significantly decreased in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from Graves’ ophthalmopathy patients compared with normal subjects. Accordingly, we proposed that the expression of miR-155 increased and the expression of miR-146a decreased in the target cells (CD4+T cells and orbital fibroblasts), thus promoting ocular inflammation and proliferation in Graves’ ophthalmopathy. The proposed hypothesis warrants further investigation of the function of the differentially expressed microRNAs, which may shed new light on the pathogenesis of Graves’ ophthalmopathy and lead to new strategies for its management.