Higher expression of whole blood microRNA-21 in patients with ankylosing spondylitis associated with programmed cell death 4 mRNA expression and collagen cross-linked C-telopeptide concentration

Chun Huang Huang, James Cheng Chung Wei, Wei Chiao Chang, Shang Yan Chiou, Chia Hsuan Chou, Yu Jie Lin, Pei Hsuan Hung, Ruey Hong Wong

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. Bone loss is a recognized feature of ankylosing spondylitis (AS). The binding of microRNA-21 (miR-21) to programmed cell death 4 (PDCD4) could inhibit the expression of PDCD4 and further induce the activation of osteoclasts. In the present study, we compared the difference in miR-21 expression between patients with AS and healthy controls, and evaluated the relationships of miR-21, PDCD4 mRNA, and bone erosion in patients with AS. The influences of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAID) and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARD) on the expressions of miR-21 and PDCD4 mRNA in patients with AS were also assessed. Methods. Whole blood miR-21 and PDCD4 mRNA expression were evaluated by quantitative real-time PCR among 122 patients with AS and 122 healthy controls. The serum level of collagen cross-linked C-telopeptide (CTX) was measured using ELISA. Results. When compared to controls, patients with AS had significantly higher levels of miR-21, PDCD4 mRNA, and CTX. MiR-21 expression was negatively correlated with PDCD4 mRNA expression in patients with AS who were taking neither NSAID nor DMARD. Interestingly, significantly positive correlations between miR-21 expression with PDCD4 mRNA expression (r = 0.33, p = 0.01) and CTX level (r = 0.44, p <0.01) were observed in patients with AS who were taking sulfasalazine. Positive correlations of miR-21 and CTX level were also observed in AS patients with disease duration <7.0 years (r = 0.36, p = 0.004) and active disease (r = 0.42, p = 0.001). Conclusion. The expression of miR-21 might have a role in the development of AS. The Journal of Rheumatology

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1104-1111
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014



  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Collagen cross-linked C-telopeptide
  • MicroRNA-21
  • Programmed cell death 4

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Medicine(all)

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