MicroRNA Profile of HCV Spontaneous Clarified Individuals, Denotes Previous HCV Infection
Journal of Clinical Medicine
Factors involved in the spontaneous cleareance of a hepatitis C (HCV) infection are related to both HCV and the interaction with the host immune system, but little is known about the consequences after a spontaneous resolution. The main HCV extrahepatic reservoir is the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), and their transcriptional profile provides us information of innate and adaptive immune responses against an HCV infection. MicroRNAs regulate the innate and adaptive immune responses,
... and they are actively involved in the HCV cycle. High Throughput sequencing was used to analyze the miRNA profiles from PBMCs of HCV chronic naïve patients (CHC), individuals that spontaneously clarified HCV (SC), and healthy controls (HC). We did not find any differentially expressed miRNAs between SC and CHC. However, both groups showed similar expression differences (21 miRNAs) with respect to HC. This miRNA signature correctly classifies HCV-exposed (CHC and SC) vs. HC, with the has-miR-21-3p showing the best performance. The potentially targeted molecular pathways by these 21 miRNAs mainly belong to fatty acids pathways, although hippo signaling, extracellular matrix (ECM) interaction, proteoglycans-related, and steroid biosynthesis pathways were also altered. These miRNAs target host genes involved in an HCV infection. Thus, an HCV infection promotes molecular alterations in PBMCs that can be detected after an HCV spontaneous resolution, and the 21-miRNA signature is able to identify HCV-exposed patients (either CHC or SC).