Levels of certain microRNAs were associated with response to treatment with an anti–tumor necrosis factor–alpha agent and conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, according to a study conducted by Dr. Carmen Castro-Villegas and her associates.
In patients who responded to the combination therapy, 91% had overexpressed miRNA, while 9% had downregulated miRNA. Of the 10 miRNA selected for analysis, 6 had been significantly upregulated by the therapy (miR-16-5p, miR-23-3p, miR125b-5p, miR-126-3p, miR-146a-5p, miR-223-3p), and only patients who responded to the therapy showed an increase in these miRNA. The miRNA increase also paralleled a reduction in TNF-alpha, interleukins, rheumatoid factor, and C-reactive protein.
Further analyses showed that miR-23-3p and miR-223-3p can act to predict patients who would not benefit from combination therapy with anti-TNF-alpha agents and conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs or indicate treatment efficacy or the degree of response, the investigators said.
Find the full study in Arthritis Research & Therapy (doi:10.1186/s13075-015-0555-z).