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March 2017

Are miRNAs Appropriate Biomarkers for Radiologic Measures of Tissue Injury in Multiple Sclerosis?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
  • 2Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology Imaging Program, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
  • 3Clinical Center for Multiple Sclerosis, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
JAMA Neurol. 2017;74(3):260-261. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2016.5384

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are single-stranded, endogenous, noncoding RNAs of modest nucleotide length that were discovered in 1993 following studies related to lin-4, a gene responsible for the Caenorhabditis elegans larval development.1 Emerging scientific data suggest that these molecules play diverse roles in posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression, cell differentiation, proliferation, immune homeostasis, and apoptosis. Aberrant miRNA expression profiles have been implicated in an array of immune-related disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis,2 systemic lupus erythematosus,3 Sjögren syndrome,4 and multiple sclerosis (MS).5 More recently, the effects of specific disease-modifying therapies often used in the management of care for patients with MS—interferon-β and fingolimod—on individual miRNA levels have been evaluated.6,7

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