MiR-21 alleviates secondary blood-brain barrier damage after traumatic brain injury in rats.
Our recent studies have identified increased expression of miR-21 in brain following traumatic brain injury (TBI), which alleviated brain edema that related to the blood-brain barrier (BBB) leakage. To analyze the potential effect of miR-21 on secondary BBB damage after TBI, we employed the fluid percussion injury rat model and manipulated the expression level of miR-21 in brain. We found that miR-21 level in brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMVECs) in lesioned cerebral cortex can be upregulated or downregulated by intracerebroventricular infusion of miR-21 agomir or antagomir. Upregulated miR-21 level conferred a better neurological outcome of TBI, and alleviated TBI-induced secondary BBB damage and loss of tight junction proteins. To explore the molecular mechanism underlying this protective effect, we detected the impact of miR-21 on the expression of Angiopoietin-1(Ang-1) and Tie-2, which can promote the expression of tight junction proteins and amplify BBB stabilization. We found that miR-21 exerts the protective effect on BBB by activating the Ang-1/Tie-2 axis in BMVECs. Thus, miR-21 could be a potential therapeutic target for interventions of secondary BBB damage after TBI.
Ge, X; Han, Z; Chen, F; Wang, H; Zhang, B; Jiang, R; Lei, P; Zhang, J
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