Acquired aplastic anemia is an idiopathic paradigm of human bone marrow failure syndrome, which involves active destruction of hematopoietic stem cells and progenitors by cytotoxic T cells in the bone marrow. Aberrant expression of microRNAs in T cells has been shown to lead to development of certain autoimmune diseases. In the present study, we performed a microarray analysis of miRNA expression in bone marrow CD3+ T cells from patients with aplastic anemia and healthy controls. Overexpression of miR34a and underexpression of its target gene diacylglycerol kinase (DGK) ζ in bone marrow mononuclear cells were validated in 41 patients and associated with the severity of aplastic anemia. Further, the level of miR34a was higher in naïve T cells from patients than from controls. The role of miR34a and DGKζ in aplastic anemia was investigated in a murine model of immune-mediated bone marrow failure using miR34a-/- mice. After T-cell receptor stimulation in vitro, lymph node T cells from miR34a-/- mice demonstrated reduced activation and proliferation accompanied with a less profound down-regulation of DGKζ expression and decreased ERK phosphorylation compared to those from wild-type C57BL6 control mice. Infusion of 5 × 106 miR34a-/- lymph node T cells into sublethally irradiated CB6F1 recipients led to increased Lin-Sca1+CD117+ cells and less vigorous expansion of CD8+ T cells than injection of same number of wild-type lymph node cells. Our study demonstrates that the miR34a/DGKζ dysregulation enhances T-cell activation in aplastic anemia and targeting miR34a may represent a novel molecular therapeutic approach for patients with aplastic anemia.
- aplastic anemia