Osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are two of the most common types of arthritis. Both are characterized by the infiltration of a number of proinflammatory cytokines into the joint microenvironment. miRNAs play critical roles in the disease processes of arthritic disorders. However, little is known about the effects of miRNAs on critical inflammatory cytokine production with OA and RA progression. Here, we found higher levels of proinflammatory cytokines including interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β), interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) in human OA and RA synovial fibroblasts (SFs) compared with normal SFs. Searches of open-source microRNA (miRNA) software determined that miR-let-7c-5p and miR-149-5p interfere with IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α transcription; levels of all three proinflammatory cytokines were lower in human OA and RA patients compared with normal controls. Anti-inflammatory agents dexamethasone, celecoxib and indomethacin reduced proinflammatory cytokine production by promoting the expression of miR-let-7c-5p and miR-149-5p. Similarly, ibuprofen and methotrexate also enhanced miR-let-7c-5p and miR-149-5p expression in human SFs. The evidence suggests that increasing miR-let-7c-5p and miR-149-5p expression is a novel strategy for OA and RA.
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