Scientific corner

MicroRNA and granulocyte-monocyte adsorption apheresis combotherapy after inadequate response to anti-TNF agents in ulcerative colitis

Esteban Sáez-González MDInés Moret-Tatay PhDGuillermo Bastida MD, PhDMariam Aguas MD, PhDMarisa Iborra MD, PhDPilar Nos MD, PhDBelén Beltrán MD, PhD  J Clin Apher. 2023 38(6); 1-10. doi:10.1002/jca.22101


Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an inflammatory bowel disease characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, affecting millions of individuals throughout the world, and producing an impaired health-related quality of life. Granulocyte and monocyte apheresis (GMA) is a therapeutic option for UC management to induce remission by selective removal of activated leukocytes from bloodstream. Despite the knowledge of the important role of epigenetics in UC pathogenesis, and in the response to different treatments, nothing is known about the role of microRNAs in GMA therapy in UC patients.


7 consecutively UC patients who started GMA in combo therapy with infliximab were recruited. Peripheral blood samples were taken before the apheresis session, at the start of the induction (S0) and at the end (S10). They were follow-up during the induction phase (10 sessions: 2 sessions for a week during 3 wk and 1 session for a week during 4 wk) of the treatment at a tertiary hospital (Hospital la Fe) and 6 mo after finishing the GMA induction therapy. MiRNA was extracted and analyzed by RT-PCR. R software and GraphPad were used.


Clinical disease activity significantly decreased after induction therapy with GMA (median partial Mayo score 2 (IQR, 1-6) (P < .05). Fecal calprotectin value and CRP value significantly decreased after induction therapy. Five microRNAs modified their expression during GMA (unsupervised analysis): miR-342-3p, miR-215-5p, miR-376c-3p, miR-139-5p, and miR-150-5p. When a sub-analysis was performed in those patients who showed good response to apheresis treatment (n = 5), two microRNAs showed to be implicated: miR-215-5p and miR-365a-3p. These are preliminary but promising and novel results, as it is the first time, to our knowledge that microRNA profiles have been studied in the context of GMA treatment for IBD.

MicroRNA and granulocyte-monocyte adsorption apheresis combotherapy after inadequate response to anti-TNF agents in ulcerative colitis – PubMed (

MicroRNA and granulocyte‐monocyte adsorption apheresis combotherapy after inadequate response to anti‐TNF agents in ulcerative colitis – Sáez‐González – Journal of Clinical Apheresis – Wiley Online Library

Scientific corner

SA6-03 MicroRNA and granulocyte and monocyte adsorption apheresis on neutrophilic skin diseases

Yuko Higashi, Munekazu Yamakuchi, Takuro Kanekura

poster at ISFA 2019 pag 126

Neutrophilic skin diseases are a group of disorders characterized by intense dermal infiltration of neutrophils without infection. They include a variety of diseases, such as pyoderma gangrenosum, pustular psoriasis, and palmoplantar pustulosis. We demonstrated that granulocyte and monocyte adsorption apheresis (GMA) is a useful treatment modality for such refractory skin diseases. Microarray analysis of microRNAs (miRNAs) was performed using sera of patients with neutrophilic skin diseases before and after GMA. Several miRNAs significantly increased in patients compared to control subjects. The expression of three
miRNAs decreased after apheresis, suggesting that these miRNAs might be involved in the pathogenesis of neutrophilic skin decreases. To prove the function of these miRNAs, HL-60, a human acute promyelocytic leukemia cell line, was differentiated by the treatment of alltrans retinoic acid (ATRA). When HL-60 was differentiated to neutrophilic cells, the HEstaining shows an increased cytoplasm to nucleus ratio, condensated chromatin, and nuclear segmentation. The expression of three miRNAs increased during the neutrophilic differentiation. Stimulation of ATRA-treated HL-60 by some cytokines altered miRNA expressions. Moreover, manipulation of these miRNAs changed proliferation of cultured keratinocytes. These data
suggest that miRNAs play an important role in regulating neutrophilic differentiation and proliferation of keratinocytes in case of neutrophilic disorders such as psoriasis. These miRNAs could be markers of disease severity and response of GMA.

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