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J Inflamm Res


Objective: MicroRNAs were identified as master-switch molecules limiting acute inflammatory response. This study investigated the potential role of microRNA (miR)-223 in the mechanism of gout.

Methods: Wild-type (WT) and miR-223 knock-out (KO) mice were used to evaluate the phenotypes of gout models. Inflammatory cytokines were measured in air pouch and peritoneal cavity lavage fluid. In addition to miR-223 level in gout patients, miR-223 and pro-inflammatory genes were examined in bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs) from mice as well as peripheral blood mononuclear cells from healthy controls (HC) treated with monosodium urate (MSU) crystals in vitro.

Results: MiR-223 was up-regulated in the early phase in BMDMs from WT mice after MSU challenge and decreased rapidly, and this was not observed in miR-223 KO mice in vitro. In addition, miR-223 was required for macrophages homeostasis. In comparison with WT mice in vivo, miR-223 deficiency exacerbated swelling index of MSU-induced inflammation in foot pad and ankle joint models. MiR-223 deficiency also markedly aggravated inflammatory cells infiltration and cytokines release including interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6 and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) in the air pouch and peritonitis models. In the in vitro experiments, miR-223 deficiency promoted the inflammatory response by targeting NLR family pyrin domain containing protein 3 (NLRP3). Besides, miR-223 level was down-regulated in gout patients and in HC exposed to MSU in vitro.

Conclusion: MiR-223 was down-regulated in gout patients and miR-223 deficiency exacerbated inflammatory response in diverse murine models, suggesting that up-regulation of miR-223 could be a potential therapeutic strategy for alleviating gouty inflammation.

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