Published online by Cambridge University Press: 25 September 2017
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short noncoding RNAs, involved in the regulation of parasite diseases. However, a role of miRNAs in Echinococcus multilocularis infection remains largely unknown. In this study, we first found the expression levels of key genes involved in miRNA biogenesis and function, including Ago2, Xpo5, Tarbp2 and DgcR8, were obviously altered in the macrophage RAW264·7 cells exposed to E. multilocularis metacestodes. Compared with the control, 18 and 32 known miRNAs were found to be differentially expressed (P < 0·05 and fold change >2) in the macrophages exposed to E. multilocularis metacestodes for 6 and 12 h, respectively. Among these, several are known to be involved in regulating cytokine activities and immune responses. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction results showed that the expression of nine selected miRNAs was consistent with the sequencing data at each treatment time points. Moreover, there were statistically significant correlations between the expression levels of miRNAs and their corresponding targeted genes. Our data give us some clues to pinpoint a role of miRNAs in the course of infection and immunity of E. multilocularis.