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PubMed | Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Islamic Azad University at Tehran and e Janbazan Medical and Engineering Research Center
Type: Comparative Study | Journal: Journal of receptor and signal transduction research | Year: 2015

Sulfur mustard (SM) affects divergent cellular pathways including cell cycle, apoptosis, necrosis, and inflammatory responses. SM-induced lesions in skin include late-onset hyper-pigmentation, xerosis, and atrophy. It seems that TGF-b signaling pathway is a major player for SM pathogenesis. Here, we have employed a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) approach to evaluate the expression alterations of all TGF-b variants and their receptors in skin biopsies obtained from 10 Iran-Iraq war veterans. Using specific LNA primers, the expression alteration of a TGF-bR2 regulator, miR-20a, and TGF-b downstream target, miR-21, was also assessed in the same samples Our real-time PCR data revealed a significant down-regulation of TGF-b1 and TGF-bR2, the major mediators of TGF-b signaling pathway, in skin biopsies of SM-exposed patients (p = 0.0015 and p = 0.0115, respectively). Down-regulation of TGF-b signaling pathway seems to contribute in severe inflammation observed in SM-exposed patients tissues. MiR-20a and miR-21, as two important TGF-b associated microRNAs (miRNAs), were also down-regulated in SM-exposed skin lesions, compared to those of control group (p = 0.0003). Based on our findings, these miRNAs could be directly or indirectly involve in the pathogenesis of SM. Altogether, our data suggest the suitability of TGF-b1, TGF-bR2, as well as miR-20a and miR-21 as potential biomarkers for diagnosis and treatment of SM-exposed patients.

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