Background: Abnormal expression of miRNA is a common feature in many diseases. Some studies have also emphasized that miRNAs play an important role in asthma and allergic rhinitis (AR). This study attempts to reveal the differences between miRNAs expression and normal nasal mucosa in AR patients by microarray method so as to further understand the molecular mechanism of AR development.
Methods: MiRNA microarrays were used for analyzing six samples of the nasal mucosa of AR and six samples of nonallergic patients. Quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) of some differently expressed miRNAs was used to confirm the array results. Furthermore, pathway analysis was carried out.
Results: The microarray identified that 64 miRNAs showed altered expression in the nasal mucosa of the AR group when compared with the control group. Moreover, the expression levels of ten miRNAs were significantly altered in the AR group. To verify the results of microarray, three differentially expressed miRNA were determined by RT-PCR, and the results also confirmed these changes. Ten differentially expressed miRNAs were present in the nasal mucosa of AR patients compared with the control group, and three differentially expressed miRNAs as miR-1244, miR- 4651, and miR-7641 were determined by RT-PCR. The results also confirmed the changes, indicating that they play important roles in the process of AR.
Conclusion: MiR-1244, miR-4651, and miR-7641 may play important roles in the process of AR. Sequencing analysis indicated that three kinds of mutations existed in MAPK8 3’UTR, which may play a role in binding with miR-7641, and then influence the AR process. Single miRNA or, more probably, their sets hold the promise for their use as biomarkers of allergic rhinitis. They are also a promising target of future therapies.