Differential miRNA expression in B cells is associated with inter-individual differences in humoral immune response to measles vaccination

Iana H. Haralambieva, Richard B. Kennedy, Whitney L. Simon, Krista M. Goergen, Diane E. Grill, Inna G. Ovsyannikova, Gregory A. Poland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background MicroRNAs are important mediators of post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression through RNA degradation and translational repression, and are emerging biomarkers of immune system activation/response after vaccination. Methods We performed Next Generation Sequencing (mRNA-Seq) of intracellular miRNAs in measles virus-stimulated B and CD4+ T cells from high and low antibody responders to measles vaccine. Negative binomial generalized estimating equation (GEE) models were used for miRNA assessment and the DIANA tool was used for gene/target prediction and pathway enrichment analysis. Results We identified a set of B cell-specific miRNAs (e.g., miR-151a-5p, miR-223, miR-29, miR-15a-5p, miR-199a-3p, miR-103a, and miR-15a/16 cluster) and biological processes/pathways, including regulation of adherens junction proteins, Fc-receptor signaling pathway, phosphatidylinositol-mediated signaling pathway, growth factor signaling pathway/pathways, transcriptional regulation, apoptosis and virus-related processes, significantly associated with neutralizing antibody titers after measles vaccination. No CD4+ T cell-specific miRNA expression differences between high and low antibody responders were found. Conclusion Our study demonstrates that miRNA expression directly or indirectly influences humoral immunity to measles vaccination and suggests that B cell-specific miRNAs may serve as useful predictive biomarkers of vaccine humoral immune response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0191812
JournalPloS one
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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