MicroRNA-320a Monitors Intestinal Disease Activity in Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Research paper by Friederike F Cordes, Claudia C Demmig, Arne A Bokemeyer, Markus M Brückner, Frank F Lenze, Philipp P Lenz, Tobias T Nowacki, Phil P Tepasse, Hartmut H HH Schmidt, M Alexander MA Schmidt, Christoph C Cichon, Dominik D Bettenworth

Indexed on: 01 May '20Published on: 01 May '20Published in: Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology


In patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a treat-to-target treatment strategy requires tight monitoring of disease activity. Noninvasive biomarkers may help to monitor the intestinal disease activity. We demonstrated recently that peripheral microRNA (miR)-320a expression in mice follows the course of experimental colitis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential of miR-320a to monitor the disease activity in patients with IBD, to predict the course of disease, and to distinguish IBD from infectious colitis. The miR-320a levels were prospectively assessed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis of peripheral blood samples from 40 patients with Crohn's disease (CD) and 37 patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) as well as from 19 healthy control individuals and 7 patients with infectious colitis. Disease activity was quantified by appropriate clinical disease indices and endoscopic scoring systems. When compared with healthy controls, miR-320a blood levels were significantly increased in patients with active CD and UC (16.1 ± 2.6 vs 2,573 ± 941; vs 434 ± 96; both P < 0.001) and patients with IBD in remission (316 ± 251 [CD] and 91 ± 29 [UC]; both P < 0.001). In patients with CD, miR-320a levels showed a strong correlation with the endoscopic disease activity (r = 0.76; P < 0.001). Similarly, in patients with UC, we detected a significantly enhanced miR-320a expression, which was highest in patients with severe endoscopic disease activity (eMayo = 0-1: 66 ± 16 vs eMayo = 2: 352 ± 102; vs eMayo = 3: 577 ± 206; both P < 0.001). Finally, miR-320a blood expression in patients with active CD and UC significantly increased compared with patients with infectious colitis (63 ± 13, P < 0.001). MiR-320a expression in peripheral blood from patients with IBD follows the clinical and endoscopic disease activities and may help to distinguish IBD from infectious colitis.