COPD is characterized by an abnormal regulatory T cell (Treg) response with a shift towards a Th1 and Th17 cell responses. However, it is unclear if the function of Treg cells is impaired by smoking and in COPD. In addition, the miRNA profile of Treg cells in COPD is unknown and whether miRNA deregulation contributes to COPD immunopathogenesis. We set the objective to study Treg cell function isolated from peripheral blood of patients with COPD versus controls and to compare their miRNA profiles. We also were interested in exploring the function of some of the differentially expressed Treg cell miRNAs. We assessed the Treg cell function by observing their suppressive activity on autologous effector T cells and analyzed their miRNA expression initially by microarray analysis then conducted real time RT-PCR validation for selected miRNAs. In Silico target gene analysis for the validated miRNAs suggested that miR-199-5p is particularly relevant to Treg cell physiology so its function was investigated further using CCD-986Sk and MOLT-4 cells. We found no difference in Treg cell function between COPD and controls but we were able to identify 6 and 96 miRNAs that were differentially expressed in COPD versus control Treg cells. We confirmed that miR-199a-5p was repressed by approximately 4 fold in Treg cells of COPD patients compared to cells in healthy smokers. Importantly, miR-199a-5p had significant overrepresentation of its target genes in the Treg cell transcriptome, with many targets associated with the TGF-β activation pathway. We also confirmed the function of miR-199a5p in an in-vitro loss-of-function cell model running TaqMan® arrays of the Human TGF-β Pathway. These findings suggest that the abnormal repression of miR-199a-5p in patients with COPD compared to unaffected smokers may be involved in modulating the adaptive immune balance in favor of a Th1 and Th17 response.
|Commitee:||Cohen, Philip, Galluci, Stefania, Monestier, Marc, Tsygankov, Alexander|
|Department:||Microbiology and Immunology|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-B 76/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Molecular biology, Cellular biology, Immunology|
|Keywords:||Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, MicroRNA, Pulmonary disease, Regulatory T cells|
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