Decreased Treg-derived miR-181a and miR-155 correlated with reduced number and function of Treg cells in allergic rhinitis children

  • Wenlong LiuEmail author
  • Hong Ouyang
  • Qingxiang Zeng
  • Renzhong Luo
  • Gen LuEmail author



Regulatory cells (Tregs) have been proved to be deeply involved in allergic airway inflammation. This study aims to evaluate the expression of miRNA in children with AR and their association with Tregs as well as the severity of AR.


Twenty-five AR children and 20 healthy children were enrolled in this study. The Treg-cell percentage and expression of IL-10 and TGF-β were detected by flow cytometry and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The microRNA microarray analysis in purified Tregs was performed and differentially expressed microRNAs were confirmed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR).


Children with AR had lower percentage of Tregs and expression of IL-10 and TGF-beta compared with control children. We found that significantly lower levels of miR-155 and miR-181a in Tregs from AR than healthy controls. Furthermore, intracellular miR-155 and miR-181a level were positively correlated with percentage of Tregs and expression of IL-10 and TGF-beta. Similarly, total nasal severity scores (TNSS) were found to be negatively correlated with miR-155 and miR-181a levels.


Decreased Treg-derived miR-181a and miR-155 were correlated with reduced number and function of Tregs in AR children. The intracellular miR-155 and miR-181a levels may serve as predictors of disease severity in childhood AR.


Allergic rhinitis Children Regulatory T cells miR-181a miR-155 



This study was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Grant of China (No. 81500772), the Guangdong Province Natural Science Grant (Nos. 2014A030310216, 2017A030310150), and the Pearl River S&T Nova Program of Guangzhou (No. 201710010085).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Research involving human participants

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all guardians of children included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OtolaryngologyGuangzhou Women and Children’s Medical Center, Guangzhou Medical UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Department of Otolaryngology, Renhe HospitalThree Gorges UniversityYi ChangChina
  3. 3.Department of Respiratory Medicine, Guangzhou Women and Children’s Medical CenterGuangzhou Medical UniversityGuangzhouChina

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