Silencing of miR20a is crucial for Ngn1-mediated neuroprotection in injured spinal cord.
ABSTRACT MicroRNAs (miRNAs) compose a relatively new discipline in biomedical research, and many physiological processes in disease have been associated with changes in miRNA expression. Several studies report that miRNAs participate in biological processes such as the control of secondary injury in several disease models. Recently, we identified novel miRNAs that were abnormally up-regulated in a traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI). In the current study, we focused on miR20a, which causes continuing motor neuron degeneration when overexpressed in SCI lesions. Blocking miR20a in SCI animals led to neural cell survival and eventual neurogenesis with rescued expression of the key target gene, neurogenin 1 (Ngn1). Infusion of siNgn1 resulted in functional deficit in the hindlimbs caused by aggressive secondary injury and actively enhanced the inflammation involved in secondary injury progression. The events involving miR20a underlie motor neuron and myelin destruction and pathophysiology and ultimately block regeneration in injured spinal cords. Inhibition of miR20a expression effectively induced definitive motor neuron survival and neurogenesis, and SCI animals showed improved functional deficit. In this study, we showed that abnormal expression of miR20a induces secondary injury, which suggests that miR20a could be a potential target for therapeutic intervention following SCI.
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ABSTRACT: microRNAs (miRNAs) are a novel class of small non-coding RNAs that negatively regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. miRNAs can modulate gene expression and thus play important roles in diverse neurobiological processes, such as cell differentiation, growth, proliferation and neural activity, as well as the pathogenic processes of spinal cord injury (SCI) like inflammation, oxidation, demyelination and apoptosis. Results from animal studies have revealed the temporal alterations in the expression of a large set of miRNAs following SCI in adult rats, and the expressional changes in miRNAs following SCI is bidirectional (increase or decrease). In addition, several miRNAs have distinct roles in prognosis of SCI (protective, detrimental and varied). Taken together, the existing evidence suggests that abnormal miRNA expression following SCI contributes to the pathogenesis of SCI, and miRNAs may become potential targets for the therapy of SCI.International journal of biological sciences 01/2014; 10(9):997-1006. · 3.17 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, endogenous, non-coding RNA molecules that function as post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression by imperfect base-pairing with the 3'-untranslated regions of their target mRNAs. Altered expression of numerous miRNAs has been shown to be extensively involved in the pathogenesis of various diseases and cancers. Additionally, the specific expression of miRNAs in the nervous system has indicated that miRNAs are critical for the occurrence and development of neurological diseases. Increasing evidence has shown that specific miRNAs target the expression of particular proteins that are significant in the disease pathogenesis. Therefore, miRNA-mediated regulation may be important in the occurrence and development of neurological diseases and may function as a novel biomarker and tool for clinical therapy. In the present study, the significance of miRNAs is reviewed in a number of neurological disorders and the possibility of their use in therapeutic interventions is evaluated.Biomedical reports. 09/2014; 2(5):611-619.
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ABSTRACT: Reactive astrogliosis after spinal cord injury (SCI) contributes to glial scar formation that impedes axonal regeneration. The mechanisms underlying reactive astrocyte proliferation upon injury remain partially understood. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) function as a major class of post-transcriptional gene expression regulators that participate in many biological processes. However, miRNA function during reactive astrogliosis, particularly in injury-induced astrocyte proliferation, has not been carefully examined. In this study, we conditionally deleted Dicer1 gene encoding an enzyme that is required for mature miRNA generation, and examined the proliferative behavior of Dicer1-null reactive astrocytes in the transected mouse spinal cord. We found that injury-induced proliferation is blocked in Dicer1-null astrocytes. Previous reports indicate that miR-17-5p family members are upregulated during SCI. We therefore tested functional contribution of miR-17-5p to the proliferation of reactive astrocytes in vitro. Our results showed that a synthetic miR-17-5p mimic is able to rescue the proliferation defect of Dicer1-null astrocytes, while an antisense inhibitor of miR-17-5p blocked lipopolysaccharide-induced astrocytic proliferation. Similar results are also observed in leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF)-treated astroglial cultures suggesting that miR-17-5p particularly modulates reactive astrocyte proliferation initiated by LIF presumably via the JAK/STAT3 pathway. Furthermore, overexpression of miR-17-5p leads to decrease of several cell cycle regulators in cultured astroglia and astrocytoma cell line C6. Our conclusion is that miRNAs are indispensable to the injury-induced reactive astrocyte proliferation, and that miR-17-5p may be a major player regulating this pathological process by affecting cell cycle machinery. GLIA 2014Glia 07/2014; · 5.07 Impact Factor