microRNAs (miRNAs) play an essential role in inflammation processes including sepsis. This study aimed to identify miRNAs as candidates for therapies that are involved in the innate immune response and to assess their potential functions in the activation of the endothelium. We stimulated THP-1 monocytes with 10 ng/ml LPS for 4 h and used the supernatant for the stimulation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) or human pulmonary microvascular endothelial cells (HPMEC) for 16 h. miRNA array analysis (of 1,891 miRNAs) identified a 1.5-fold upregulation of miR-146a, miR-146b, and miR-155 in stimulated endothelial cells. HUVEC were transfected with miRNA inhibitors for miR-146a, miR-146b, and miR-155 to investigate the function of these miRNAs in endothelial inflammatory pathways. Inhibition of miR-146a resulted in a diminished release of interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8 by respective 68% and 55% (P<0.001). Inhibition of miR-146b reduced the expression of IL-6 by 49% (P<0.001). Inhibition of miR-155 reduced the expression of IL-6 and IL-8 by respective 31% (P<0.001) and 14%. The inhibition of miR-146a, miR-146b, and miR-155 reduced the release of HSP10 by 50%, 35%, and 69% (P<0.05), respectively, but did not influence the expression of HSP27 or TXA2. In conclusion, miR-146a, miR-146b, and miR-155 are exerting anti-inflammatory properties by down-regulating IL-6 and IL-8, and influencing the expression of HSP10 in the activated endothelium. We provide evidence for the central role of selected miRNAs in sepsis and their use in the development of small interfering RNA therapeutics to target immune cells and sepsis pathways.
Pfeiffer, D., Roûmanith, E., Lang, I., & Falkenhagen, D. (2017). MIR-146a, MIR-146b, and MIR-155 increase expression of IL-6 and IL-8 and support HSP10 in an in vitro sepsis model. PLoS ONE, 12(6). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0179850