Whole Blood Profiling of T-cell-Derived microRNA Allows the Development of Prognostic models in Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Kalla R., Adams AT., Ventham NT., Kennedy NA., White R., Clarke C., Ivens A., Bergemalm D., Vatn S., Lopez-Jimena B., Ricanek P., Vatn MH., Söderholm JD., Gomollón F., Nowak JK., Jahnsen J., Halfvarson J., McTaggart S., Ho GT., Buck A., Satsangi J.
Abstract Background MicroRNAs [miRNAs] are cell-specific small non-coding RNAs that can regulate gene expression and have been implicated in inflammatory bowel disease [IBD] pathogenesis. Here we define the cell-specific miRNA profiles and investigate its biomarker potential in IBD. Methods In a two-stage prospective multi-centre case control study, next generation sequencing was performed on a discovery cohort of immunomagnetically separated leukocytes from 32 patients (nine Crohn’s disease [CD], 14 ulcerative colitis [UC], eight healthy controls) and differentially expressed signals were validated in whole blood in 294 patients [97 UC, 98 CD, 98 non-IBD, 1 IBDU] using quantitative PCR. Correlations were analysed with phenotype, including need for early treatment escalation as a marker of progressive disease using Cox proportional hazards. Results In stage 1, each leukocyte subset [CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells and CD14+ monocytes] was analysed in IBD and controls. Three specific miRNAs differentiated IBD from controls in CD4+ T-cells, including miR-1307-3p [p = 0.01], miR-3615 [p = 0.02] and miR-4792 [p = 0.01]. In the extension cohort, in stage 2, miR-1307-3p was able to predict disease progression in IBD (hazard ratio [HR] 1.98, interquartile range [IQR]: 1.20–3.27; logrank p = 1.80 × 10–3), in particular CD [HR 2.81; IQR: 1.11–3.53, p = 6.50 × 10–4]. Using blood-based multimarker miRNA models, the estimated chance of escalation in CD was 83% if two or more criteria were met and 90% for UC if three or more criteria are met. Interpretation We have identified and validated unique CD4+ T-cell miRNAs that are differentially regulated in IBD. These miRNAs may be able to predict treatment escalation and have the potential for clinical translation; further prospective evaluation is now indicated.