Age-associated differences in MiRNA signatures are restricted to CD45RO negative T cells and are associated with changes in the cellular composition, activation and cellular ageing

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Abstract

? 2015 Teteloshvili et al.MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as important players in the regulation of T-cell functionality. However, comprehensive insight into the extent of age-related miRNA changes in T cells is lacking. We established miRNA expression patterns of CD45RO-na?ve and CD45RO+ memory T-cell subsets isolated from peripheral blood cells from young and elderly individuals. Unsupervised clustering of the miRNA expression data revealed an age-related clustering in the CD45RO- T cells, while CD45RO+ T cells clustered based on expression of CD4 and CD8. Seventeen miRNAs showed an at least 2-fold up- or downre-gulation in CD45RO- T cells obtained from young as compared to old donors. Validation on the same and independent samples revealed a statistically significant age-related upregulation of miR-21, miR-223 and miR-15a. In a T-cell subset analysis focusing on known age-related phenotypic changes, we showed significantly higher miR-21 and miR-223 levels in CD8+CD45RO-CCR7- TEMRA compared to CD45RO-CCR7+ TNAIVE-cells. Moreover, miR-21 but not miR-223 levels were significantly increased in CD45RO-CD31- post-thymic TNAIVE cells as compared to thymic CD45RO-CD31+ TNAIVE cells. Upon activation of CD45RO-TNAIVE cells we observed a significant induction of miR-21 especially in CD4+ T cells, while miR-223 levels significantly decreased only in CD4+ T cells. Besides composition and activation-induced changes, we showed a borderline significant increase in miR-21 levels upon an increasing number of population doublings in CD4+ T-cell clones. Together, our results show that ageing related changes in miRNA expression are dominant in the CD45RO- T- cell compartment. The differential expression patterns can be explained by age related changes in T-cell composition, i.e. accumulation of CD8+ TEMRA and CD4+ post-thymic expanded CD31- T cells and by cellular ageing, as demonstrated in a longitudinal clonal culture model.

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Teteloshvili, N., Kluiver, J., Van Der Geest, K. S. M., Van Der Lei, R. J., Jellema, P., Pawelec, G., … Van Den Berg, A. (2015). Age-associated differences in MiRNA signatures are restricted to CD45RO negative T cells and are associated with changes in the cellular composition, activation and cellular ageing. PLoS ONE, 10(9). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0137556

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