MicroRNA‑155‑5p affects regulatory T cell activation and immunosuppressive function by targeting BCL10 in myasthenia gravis
The imbalance in immune homeostasis plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of myasthenia gravis (MG). MicroRNAs (miRs) have been identified as key regulators of immune homeostasis. B-cell lymphoma/leukemia 10 (BCL10) has been implicated in the activation and suppressive function of regulatory T cells (Tregs). This study aimed to investigate the potential role of miR-155-5p in modulating the activation and function of Tregs in MG. To achieve this objective, blood samples were collected from MG patients to assess the expression levels of miR-155-5p and BCL10, as well as the proportion of circulating Tregs, in comparison to healthy controls. The correlation between miR-155-5p and BCL10 levels was evaluated in human samples. The expression levels of miR-155-5p and the numbers of circulating Tregs were also examined in an animal model of experimental autoimmune MG (EAMG). A dual-luciferase reporter assay was used to verify whether miR-155-5p can target BCL10. To determine the regulatory function of BCL10 in Tregs, CD4+ CD25+ Tregs were transfected with either small interfering-BCL10 or miR-155-5p inhibitor, and the expression levels of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 and transcription factors Foxp3, TGF-β1, CTLA4, and ICOS were measured. The results demonstrated that the expression level of miR-155-5p was significantly higher in patients with MG compared with that in healthy controls, whereas the expression level of BCL10 was significantly decreased in patients with MG. Furthermore, there was a significant negative correlation between the expression levels of miR-155-5p and BCL10. The number of circulating Tregs was significantly reduced in patients with MG and in the spleen of rats with EAMG compared with that in the corresponding control groups. The dual-luciferase reporter assay demonstrated that miR-155-5p could target BCL10. The Tregs transfected with si-BCL10 demonstrated significant decreases in the protein levels of TGF-β1 and IL-10, as well as in the mRNA expression levels of Foxp3, TGF-β1, CTLA-4 and ICOS. Conversely, the Tregs transfected with the miR-155-5p inhibitor exhibited a substantial increase in these protein and mRNA expression levels compared with their respective control groups. Furthermore, the knockdown of BCL10 exhibited a decline in the suppressive efficacy of Tregs on the proliferation of CD4+ T cells. Conversely, the suppression of miR-155-5p expression attenuated the inhibition of the BCL10 gene, potentially causing an indirect influence on the suppressive capability of Tregs on the proliferation of CD4+ T cells. BCL10 was thus found to contribute to the activation and immunosuppressive function of Tregs. In summary, the present study demonstrated that miR-155-5p inhibited the activation and immunosuppressive function of Tregs by targeting BCL10, which may be used as a future potential target for the treatment of MG.
Keywords: B-cell lymphoma/leukemia 10; microRNA-155-5p; myasthenia gravis; regulatory T cells.