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MicroRNA Cross-Involvement in Autism Spectrum Disorders and Atopic Dermatitis: A Literature Review

  • Tonacci, Alessandro
  • Bagnato, Gianluca
  • Pandolfo, Gianluca
  • Billeci, Lucia
  • Sansone, Francesco
  • Conte, Raffaele
  • Gangemi, Sebastiano
Publication Date
Jan 14, 2019
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Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a category of neurodevelopmental disturbances seriously affecting social skills, to which the scientific community has paid great attention in last decades. To date, their pathogenesis is still unknown, but several studies highlighted the relevance of gene-environment interactions in the onset of ASD. In addition, an immune involvement was seen in a wide number of ASD subjects, leading several researchers to hypothesize a possible common pathogenesis between ASD and immune disturbances, including Atopic Dermatitis (AD). In general, among potential contributing factors, microRNAs (miRNAs), small molecules capable of controlling gene expression and targeting mRNA transcripts, might represent one of the major circulating link, possibly unraveling the connections between neurodevelopmental and immune conditions. Under such premises, we conducted a systematic literature review, under the PRISMA guidelines, trying to define the panel of common miRNAs involved in both ASD and AD. The review retrieved articles published between January 1, 2005, and December 13, 2018, in PubMed, ScienceDirect, PsycARTICLES, and Google Scholar. We found a handful of works dealing with miRNAs in ASD and AD, with the most overlapping dysregulated miRNAs being miR-146 and miR-155. Two possible compounds are abnormally regulated in both ASD and AD subjects, possibly cross-contributing to the interactions between the two disorders, setting the basis to investigate more precisely the possible link between ASD and AD from another, not just clinical, perspective.

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