miR-21 is up-regulated in psoriasis and suppresses T cell apoptosis

Florian Meisgen, Ning Xu, Tianling Wei, Peter C. Janson, Susanna Obad, Oliver Broom, Nikoletta Nagy, Sakari Kauppinen, Lajos Kemény, Mona Ståhle, Andor Pivarcsi, Enikö Sonkoly

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

90 Citations (Scopus)


MicroRNAs are short non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression. Previously, in a genome-wide screen, we found deregulation of microRNA expression in psoriasis skin. MicroRNA-21 (miR-21) is one of the microRNAs significantly up-regulated in psoriasis skin lesions. To identify the cell type responsible for the increased miR-21 level, we compared expression of miR-21 in epidermal cells and dermal T cells between psoriasis and healthy skin and found elevated levels of miR-21 in psoriasis in both cell types. In cultured T cells, expression of miR-21 increased markedly upon activation. To explore the function of miR-21 in primary human T helper cells, we inhibited miR-21 using a tiny seed-targeting LNA-anti-miR. Specific inhibition of miR-21 increased the apoptosis rate of activated T cells. Our results suggest that miR-21 suppresses apoptosis in activated T cells, and thus, overexpression of miR-21 may contribute to T cell-derived psoriatic skin inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)312-314
Number of pages3
JournalExperimental Dermatology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2012


  • Chronic inflammation
  • Inflammatory skin disease
  • MicroRNA
  • Skin
  • T cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology

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    Meisgen, F., Xu, N., Wei, T., Janson, P. C., Obad, S., Broom, O., Nagy, N., Kauppinen, S., Kemény, L., Ståhle, M., Pivarcsi, A., & Sonkoly, E. (2012). miR-21 is up-regulated in psoriasis and suppresses T cell apoptosis. Experimental Dermatology, 21(4), 312-314. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0625.2012.01462.x