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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

MicroRNA regulate immune pathways in T-cells in multiple sclerosis (MS)

Margareta Jernås1*, Clas Malmeström2, Markus Axelsson2, Intawat Nookaew5, Hans Wadenvik3, Jan Lycke2 and Bob Olsson4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

2 Department of Neurology, The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

3 Department of Internal Medicine, Institute of Medicine, The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Vita Stråket 12, SE-413 45, Gothenburg, Sweden

4 Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

5 Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden

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BMC Immunology 2013, 14:32  doi:10.1186/1471-2172-14-32

Published: 29 July 2013



MicroRNA are small noncoding RNA molecules that are involved in the control of gene expression. To investigate the role of microRNA in multiple sclerosis (MS), we performed genome-wide expression analyses of mRNA and microRNA in T-cells from MS patients and controls.


Heparin-anticoagulated peripheral blood was collected from MS-patients and healthy controls followed by isolation of T-cells. MicroRNA and RNA from T-cells was prepared and hybridized to Affymetrix miR 2.0 array and Affymetrix U133Plus 2.0 Human Genome array (Santa Clara, CA), respectively. Verifications were performed with real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).


We identified 2,452 differentially expressed genes and 21 differentially expressed microRNA between MS patients and controls. By Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, 20 of 21 differentially expressed microRNA were shown to affect the expression of their target genes, many of which were involved in the immune system. Tumor necrosis factor ligand superfamily member 14 (TNFSF14) was a microRNA target gene significantly decreased in MS. The differential expression of mir-494, mir-197 and the predicted microRNA target gene TNFSF14 was verified by real-time PCR and ELISA.


These findings indicate that microRNA may be important regulatory molecules in T-cells in MS.

Autoimmunity; T-cell; Microarray; MicroRNA