This technology provides differentially-expressed microRNAs that may be utilized for the development of diagnostics and therapeutics for Sjögren's syndrome.
Sjögren's syndrome is an autoimmune disorder in which immune cells attack and destroy the glands that produce tears and saliva. The hallmark symptoms of this disorder are dry mouth and dry eyes, but it can also cause serious complications throughout the body. Sjögren's syndrome affects as many as four million people in the United States, making it the second most common autoimmune rheumatic disease. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for Sjögren's syndrome, nor is there a specific treatment to restore gland secretion. Treatment is generally symptomatic and supportive, including moisture replacement therapies and the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to treat musculoskeletal symptoms. For individuals with severe complications, corticosteroids or immunosuppressive drugs are often prescribed, but these drugs can have serious side effects.
The inventors have identified microRNAs that are differentially expressed in patients with Sjögren's syndrome compared to the normal population; these biomarkers can be used to diagnose Sjögren's syndrome, and are potential targets for treatment of this disease. The inventors have also identified microRNAs associated with high or low salivary flow in this patient population; these markers may serve as targets for therapeutics that restore salivary flow.
- Development of diagnostics and therapeutics for Sjögren's syndrome.