Differential Expression of Serum Exosome microRNAs and Cytokines in Influenza A and B Patients Collected in the 2016 and 2017 Influenza Seasons
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Differential Expression of Serum Exosome microRNAs and Cytokines in Influenza A and B Patients Collected in the 2016 and 2017 Influenza Seasons

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      MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have remarkable stability and are key regulators of mRNA transcripts for several essential proteins required for the survival of cells and replication of the virus. Exosomes are thought to play an essential role in intercellular communications by transporting proteins and miRNAs, making them ideal in the search for biomarkers. Evidence suggests that miRNAs are involved in the regulation of influenza virus replication in many cell types. During the 2016 and 2017 influenza season, we collected blood samples from 54 patients infected with influenza and from 30 healthy volunteers to identify the potential role of circulating serum miRNAs and cytokines in influenza infection. Data comparing the exosomal miRNAs in patients with influenza B to healthy volunteers showed 76 miRNAs that were differentially expressed (| < 0.05). In contrast, 26 miRNAs were differentially expressed between patients with influenza A (| < 0.05) and the controls. Of these miRNAs, 11 were commonly expressed in both the influenza A and B patients. Interferon (IFN)-inducing protein 10 (IP-10), which is involved in IFN synthesis during influenza infection, showed the highest level of expression in both influenza A and B patients. Influenza A patients showed increased expression of IFNα, GM-CSF, interleukin (IL)-13, IL-17A, IL-1β, IL-6 and TNFα, while influenza B induced increased levels of EGF, G-CSF, IL-1α, MIP-1α, and TNF-β. In addition, hsa-miR-326, hsa-miR-15b-5p, hsa-miR-885, hsa-miR-122-5p, hsa-miR-133a-3p, and hsa-miR-150-5p showed high correlations to IL-6, IL-15, IL-17A, IL-1β, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) with both strains of influenza. Next-generation sequencing studies of H1N1-infected human lung small airway epithelial cells also showed similar pattern of expression of miR-375-5p, miR-143-3p, 199a-3p, and miR-199a-5p compared to influenza A patients. In summary, this study provides insights into the miRNA profiling in both influenza A and B virus in circulation and a novel approach to identify the early infections through a combination of cytokines and miRNA expression.
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