Int J Med Sci 2008; 5(2):73-79. doi:10.7150/ijms.5.73


Expression and function of micro RNAs in immune cells during normal or disease state

Esmerina Tili1, Jean-Jacques Michaille1, 2, George Adrian Calin 3

1. Ohio State University, Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology and Medical Genetics and Comprehensive Cancer Center, 385L Wiseman Hall, 400 W. 12th Ave., Columbus, OH 43210.
2. INSERM U866, Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, France.
3. Department of Experimental Therapeutics and Department of Cancer Genetics, University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston TX 77030.


Micro RNAs (miRNAs) are 19-24 nucleotide long non-coding RNAs that posttranscriptionally modulate gene expression. They are found in almost all species: viruses, plants, nematodes, fly, fish, mouse, human, and are implicated in a wide array of cellular and developmental processes. Microarray-based miRNA profiling brought to the discovery of miRNAs specific to different hematopoietic lineages. Furthermore, the functional assays performed in tissue cultures to discover miRNAs involved in immune responses in combination with the reports of miRNA-transgenic or miRNA-knockout mouse models has helped elucidating the miRNA roles in the development and function of immune system. Abnormal patterns of hematopoietic-specific miRNAs have been found in different types of cancer and miRNA based gene therapy is being considered as a potential technology of choice in immunological disorders and cancer. The purpose of this review is to discuss recent findings related with the expression and function of miRNAs in hematopoietic lineages.

Keywords: Acquired immune response, Cancer, Cytokines, Drug discovery, Hematopoietic lineage, Innate immune response, TNF-α.

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How to cite this article:
Tili E, Michaille JJ, Calin GA. Expression and function of micro RNAs in immune cells during normal or disease state. Int J Med Sci 2008; 5(2):73-79. doi:10.7150/ijms.5.73. Available from