Interleukin 17 (IL-17)-producing T helper cells (T(H)-17 cells) are increasingly recognized as key participants in various autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis. Although sets of transcription factors and cytokines are known to regulate T(H)-17 differentiation, the role of noncoding RNA is poorly understood. Here we identify a T(H)-17 cell-associated microRNA, miR-326, whose expression was highly correlated with disease severity in patients with multiple sclerosis and mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). In vivo silencing of miR-326 resulted in fewer T(H)-17 cells and mild EAE, and its overexpression led to more T(H)-17 cells and severe EAE. We also found that miR-326 promoted T(H)-17 differentiation by targeting Ets-1, a negative regulator of T(H)-17 differentiation. Our data show a critical role for microRNA in T(H)-17 differentiation and the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis.
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Autoimmune diseases occur as a result of an attack by the immune system on the body’s own tissues resulting in damage and dysfunction. There are different types of autoimmune diseases, in which there is a complex and unknown interaction between genetics and the environment. Discover the latest research on autoimmune diseases here.