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Autoimmune Disorders

Autologous hematopoietic SCT normalizes miR-16, -155 and -142-3p expression in multiple sclerosis patients

Abstract

Autologous hematopoietic SCT (AHSCT) has been investigated in the past as a therapeutic alternative for multiple sclerosis (MS). Despite advances in clinical management, knowledge about mechanisms involved with clinical remission post transplantation is still limited. Abnormal microRNA and gene expression patterns were described in MS and have been suggested as disease biomarkers and potential therapeutic targets. Here we assessed T- and B-cell reconstitution, microRNAs and immunoregulatory gene expression after AHSCT. Early immune reconstitution was mainly driven by peripheral homeostatic proliferation. AHSCT increased CD4+CD25hiFoxP3+ regulatory T-cell counts and expression of CTLA-4 and GITR (glucocorticoid-induced TNFR) on CD4+CD25hi T cells. We found transient increase in exhausted PD-1+ T cells and of suppressive CD8+CD28CD57+ T cells. At baseline, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells from MS patients presented upregulated miR-16, miR-155 and miR-142-3p and downregulated FOXP3, FOXO1, PDCD1 and IRF2BP2. After transplantation, the expression of FOXP3, FOXO1, PDCD1 and IRF2BP2 increased, reaching control levels at 2 years. Expression of miR-16, miR-155 and miR-142-3p decreased towards normal levels at 6 months post therapy, remaining downregulated until the end of follow-up. These data strongly suggest that AHSCT normalizes microRNA and gene expression, thereby improving the immunoregulatory network. These mechanisms may be important for disease control in the early periods after AHSCT.

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Acknowledgements

We acknowledge, thank and honor the memory of Professor Julio César Voltarelli, who led the HSCT studies for autoimmune disorders in Brazil. He prematurely passed away on 21 March 2012. We also thank the multiprofessional team of the Bone Marrow Transplantation Unit of the University Hospital at the Ribeirão Preto Medical School, University of São Paulo, Brazil, for their outstanding job with the patients. We furthermore acknowledge the laboratory personnel of the Hemotherapy Regional Blood Center of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Brazil owing to their importance to this work. This work was supported by grants from CNPq and FAPESP.

Author Contributions

KCRM and MCO are the principal investigators and takes primary responsibility for the paper; LCMA, JCCL, APS, DLZ, PVBP and RAP performed the laboratory work for this study; MCO, DSB, BPS and AAB recruited the patients; DTC and WASJ coordinated the research; and LCMA, JCCL, KCRM and MCO wrote the paper.

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Correspondence to L C M Arruda or K C R Malmegrim.

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Arruda, L., Lorenzi, J., Sousa, A. et al. Autologous hematopoietic SCT normalizes miR-16, -155 and -142-3p expression in multiple sclerosis patients. Bone Marrow Transplant 50, 380–389 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/bmt.2014.277

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