Serum MicroRNA-21 as a Biomarker for Allergic Inflammatory Disease in Children

Deepali V. Sawant, Weiguo Yao, Zachary Wright, Cindy Sawyers, Robert S. Tepper, Sandeep K. Gupta, Mark H. Kaplan, Alexander L. Dent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


MicroRNAs (miRs) have emerged as useful biomarkers for different disease states, including allergic inflammatory diseases such as asthma and eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). Serum miRs are a possible non-invasive method for diagnosis of such diseases. We focused on microRNA-21 (miR-21) levels in serum, in order to assess the feasibility of using this gene as a non-invasive biomarker for these diseases in the clinic, as well as to better understand the expression pattern of miR-21 in allergic inflammation. We used quantitative PCR (QPCR) to assay miR-21 and other control miRs in esophageal biopsies from EoE patients and serum samples from EoE and asthma patients. Serum levels of miR-21 were significantly elevated in patients with asthma, whereas serum miR-21 levels were not associated with the presence of allergen-specific IgE (i.e. atopy). Esophageal biopsies showed a large elevation of miR-21 in EoE and an increase in miR-21 in EoE serum. Control U6 miR did not vary between asthma and control patients, however EoE serum had significantly decreased U6 microRNA compared to controls. The decreased U6 in EoE sera did not completely account for the relative increase in miR-21 in the sera of EoE patients. We report for the first time that miR-21 is elevated in the sera of both asthma and EoE patients. We find no relation between serum miR-21 levels and atopy. Our results thus suggest miR-21 is a novel biomarker for human allergic inflammatory diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-40
Number of pages5
JournalMicroRNA (Shāriqah, United Arab Emirates)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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