Long non-coding RNA expression profiles in neutrophils revealed potential biomarker for prediction of renal involvement in SLE patients.

The long non-coding RNA plays an important role in inflammation and autoimmune diseases. The aim of this study is to screen and identify abnormally expressed lncRNAs in peripheral blood neutrophils of SLE patients as novel biomarkers and to explore the relationship between lncRNAs levels and clinical features, disease activity and organ damage.RNA-seq technology was used to screen differentially expressed lncRNAs in neutrophils from SLE patients and healthy donors. Based on the results of screening, candidate lncRNA levels in neutrophils of 88 SLE patients, 35 other connective disease controls, and 78 healthy controls were qualified by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction.LncRNA expression profiling revealed 360 up-regulated lncRNAs and 224 down-regulated lncRNAs in neutrophils of SLE patients when compared with healthy controls. qPCR assay validated that the expression of Lnc-FOSB-1:1 was significantly decreased in neutrophils of SLE patients when compared with other CTD patients or healthy controls. It correlated negatively with SLE Disease Activity Index 2000 (SLEDAI-2K) score (r = -0.541, P < 0.001) and IFN scores (r = -0.337, P = 0.001). More importantly, decreased Lnc-FOSB-1:1 expression was associated with lupus nephritis. Lower baseline Lnc-FOSB-1:1 level was associated with higher risk of future renal involvement (within an average of 2.6 years) in patients without renal disease at baseline (P = 0.019).LncRNA expression profile in neutrophils of SLE patients revealed differentially expressed lncRNAs. Validation study on Lnc-FOSB-1:1 suggest that it is a potential biomarker for prediction of near future renal involvement.

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