Evaluation of MicroRNA-146a and its targets in gingival tissues of patients with chronic periodontitis
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Background: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a group of small non-coding RNAs that play an important role in the regulation of gene expression. miRNA-146a (miR-146a), a member of the miR-146 family, is involved in the control of inflammation. Periodontitis is a set of chronic inflammatory disorders of the tissues surrounding the teeth that lead to the breakdown of alveolar bone and tooth loss. In this study, expression levels of miR-146a and its targets, including tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-a, interleukin (IL)-1b, and IL-6, are evaluated in human patients with chronic periodontitis (CP). Methods: The study population consisted of 10 healthy controls and 20 individuals with CP. For each participant, clinical parameters including probing depth and clinical attachment level were measured, and a gingival tissue sample was collected. Levels of miR-146a, TNF-a, IL-1b, and IL-6 were quantified using real-time polymerase chain reaction. Results: Levels of miR-146a were significantly higher in patients with CP (P < 0.001). There was a positive correlation between levels of miR-146a and clinical parameters (P < 0.05). Elevated miR-146a was accompanied by a significant reduction in TNF-a and IL-6 (P < 0.001). Conclusions: Patients with CP had higher levels of miR- 146a than healthy individuals, accompanied by reduced levels of TNF-a and IL-6. A positive relationship between miR-146a levels and clinical parameters suggests a pathophysiologic role of miR-146a in CP.