Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) characterized by mucosa damage associated with an uncontrolled inflammatory response. This immunological impairment leads to altered inflammatory mediators such as IL-33, which is shown to increase in the mucosa of active UC (aUC) patients. MicroRNAs present a distorted feature in inflamed colonic mucosa and are potential IL-33 regulating candidates in UC. Therefore, we studied the microRNA and mRNA profiles in inflamed colonic samples of UC patients, evaluating the effect of a microRNA (selected by in silico analysis and its expression in UC patients), on IL-33 under inflammatory conditions. We found that inflamed mucosa (n = 8) showed increased expression of 40 microRNAs and 2,120 mRNAs, while 49 microRNAs and 1,734 mRNAs were decreased, as determined by microarrays. In particular, IL-33 mRNA showed a 3.8-fold increase and eight members of a microRNA family (miR-378), which targets IL-33 mRNA in the 3′UTR, were decreased (−3.9 to −3.0 times). We selected three members of the miR-378 family (miR-378a-3p, miR-422a, and miR-378c) according to background information and interaction energy analysis, for further correlation analyses with IL-33 expression through qPCR and ELISA, respectively. We determined that aUC (n = 24) showed high IL-33 levels, and decreased expression of miR-378a-3p and miR-422a compared to inactive UC (n = 10) and controls (n = 6). Moreover, both microRNAs were inversely correlated with IL-33 expression, while miR-378c does not show a significant difference. To evaluate the effect of TNFα on the studied microRNAs, aUC patients with anti-TNF therapy were compared to aUC receiving other treatments. The levels of miR-378a-3p and miR-378c were higher in aUC patients with anti-TNF. Based on these findings, we selected miR-378a-3p to exploring the molecular mechanism involved by in vitro assays, showing that over-expression of miR-378a-3p decreased the levels of an IL-33 target sequence β-gal-reporter gene in HEK293 cells. Stable miR-378a-3p over-expression/inhibition inversely modulated IL-33 content and altered viability of HT-29 cells. Additionally, in an inflammatory context, TNFα decreased miR-378a-3p levels in HT-29 cells enhancing IL-33 expression. Together, our results propose a regulatory mechanism of IL-33 expression exerted by miR-378a-3p in an inflammatory environment, contributing to the understanding of UC pathogenesis.
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© Copyright © 2019 Dubois-Camacho, Diaz-Jimenez, De la Fuente, Quera, Simian, Martínez, Landskron, Olivares-Morales, Cidlowski, Xu, Gao, Xie, Chnaiderman, Soto-Rifo, González, Calixto and Hermoso.