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Differential expression of microRNAs in patients with allergic rhinitis and asthma

A recent study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology has found circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) are expressed differently between patients with asthma, patients with non-asthmatic allergic rhinitis, and people without asthma or allergies. 1

The study by Panganiban and colleagues aimed to establish whether miRNAs in the blood could be used to characterise and distinguish patients with different subtypes of asthma. 1 Using a real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction process, the authors measured the expression of plasma miRNAs in patients with asthma (n=35), allergic rhinitis (n=25), or subjects who were non-asthmatic and non-allergic (n=19). 1

Thirty miRNAs were uniquely expressed between patients with asthma, allergic rhinitis, and healthy controls. 1

The authors categorised these miRNAs into five expression groups, which were differentially expressed between the three study groups. 1Through bioinformatic analysis, they found that the differentially expressed miRNAS targeted inflammatory pathway-associated genes. 1

In patients with asthma, two clusters of miRNA expression defined two subgroups of patients with different levels of peripheral eosinophils. 1

Based on these expression patterns, the authors developed a model that could predict with 91.1% accuracy whether or not a patient had asthma or allergic rhinitis. 1

The authors concluded that circulating miRNAs are potential biomarkers that could be used as a non-invasive diagnostic tool for asthma and other allergic diseases. 1In addition, the study identified candidates for potential therapeutic targets. 1

Reference list

  1. Panganiban RP, Wang Y, Howrylak J, Chinchilli VM, Craig TJ, August A, et al. Circulating microRNAs as biomarkers in patients with allergic rhinitis and asthma. To be published in J Allergy Clin Immunol. [Preprint] 2016.