Identification of dysregulated microRNA networks in schwann cell-like cultures exposed to immune challenge: Potential crosstalk with the protective VIP/PACAP neuropeptide system

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2018, 19 (4)
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© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Following peripheral nerve injury, dysregulations of certain non-coding microRNAs (miRNAs) occur in Schwann cells. Whether these alterations are the result of local inflammation and/or correlate with perturbations in the expression profile of the protective vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP)/pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) system is currently unknown. To address these issues, we aimed at profiling the expression of selected miRNAs in the rat RT4 Schwann cell line. Cells exposed to lipopolysaccharide (LPS), to mimic the local inflammatory milieu, were appraised by real-time qPCR, Western blot and ELISAs. We found that upon LPS treatment, levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, -6, -18, -17A, MCP-1 and TNFα) increased in a time-dependent manner. Unexpectedly, the expression levels of VIP and PACAP were also increased. Conversely, levels of VPAC1 and VPAC2 receptors were reduced. Downregulated miRNAs included miR-181b, -145, -27a, -340 and -132 whereas upregulated ones were miR-21, -206, -146a, -34a, -155, -204 and -29a, respectively. Regression analyses revealed that a subset of the identified miRNAs inversely correlated with the expression of VPAC1 and VPAC2 receptors. In conclusion, these findings identified a novel subset of miRNAs that are dysregulated by immune challenge whose activities might elicit a regulatory function on the VIP/PACAP system.
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