Research Highlight

RNA clue to inflammation

doi:10.1038/nindia.2011.70 Published online 16 May 2011

Short RNA molecules called miRNA (or microRNA) play a critical role in inflammatory response and in diseases related to chronic inflammation.

Researchers have demonstrated this with studies on patients with Type 2 diabetes, who were found to have reduced levels of miR-146a in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). These reduced levels were associated with proinflammatory markers (increased gene expression of TRAF-6 and NFкB & increased plasma levels of TNF-α and IL-6).

The reduced levels of miR-146a were also associated with insulin resistance and poor glycemic control. This makes the research clinically significant.

When these proinflammatory lymphocytes or monocyte phenotypes infiltrate other organs, they are known to trigger a 'catchy inflammatory fire' in target sites and mediate atherogenesis, apoptosis, insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, and obesity. This provides an insight into disease progression and would help in management of diseases related to chronic.


  1. Balasubramanyam, M. et al. Impaired miR-146a expression links subclinical inflammation and insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes. Mol. Cell Biochem. 351, 197-205 (2011) | Article | PubMed | ISI |