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TNF-α is a major cytokine implicated in rheumatoid arthritis. Its expression is regulated both at the transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels and recent data demonstrated that miRNAs are implicated in TNF-α response in macrophages. LPS-activated FLS isolated from RA patients express TNF-α mRNA but not the mature protein. This prompted us to look for miRNAs which could be implicated in this anti-inflammatory effect. Using a microarray, we found two miRNAs, miR-125b and miR-939 predicted to target the 3'-UTR of TNF-α mRNA, to be up-regulated in RA FLS in response to LPS, but their repression did not restore mature TNF-α expression in FLS. We showed previously that miR-346, which is upregulated in LPS-activated FLS, inhibited Btk expression that stabilized TNF-α mRNA. Blocking miR-346 reestablished TNF-α expression in activated FLS. Interestingly, transfection of miR-346 in LPS-activated THP-1 cells inhibited TNF-α secretion. We also demonstrated that TTP, a RNA binding protein which inhibited TNF-α synthesis, is overexpressed in activated FLS and that inhibition of miR-346 decreases its expression. Conversely, transfection of miR-346 in LPS-activated THP-1 cells increased TTP mRNA expression and inhibited TNF-α release. These results indicate that miR-346 controls TNF-α synthesis by regulating TTP expression.

Original publication




Journal article


PLoS One

Publication Date





Agammaglobulinaemia Tyrosine Kinase, Arthritis, Rheumatoid, Cell Line, Fibroblasts, Gene Expression Regulation, Humans, Lipopolysaccharides, MicroRNAs, Models, Biological, Protein Stability, Protein-Tyrosine Kinases, RNA Stability, RNA, Antisense, RNA, Messenger, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction, Synovial Fluid, Transfection, Tristetraprolin, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha