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02 April 2017 : Laboratory Research  

MicroRNA-181a Regulates Apoptosis and Autophagy Process in Parkinson’s Disease by Inhibiting p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK)/c-Jun N-Terminal Kinases (JNK) Signaling Pathways

Ying Liu1AEG*, Yanfeng Song1BC, Xiaotun Zhu1DF

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.900218

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:1597-1606

Abstract

BACKGROUND: microRNA (miR)-181a has been reported to be downregulated in Parkinson’s disease (PD), but the regulatory mechanism of miR-181a on neuron apoptosis and autophagy is still poorly understood. We aimed to investigate the neuroprotective effects of miR-181a on PD in vitro.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Human SK-N-SH neuroblastoma cells were incubated with different concentrations of 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium ion (MPP+) to induce the PD model. The expression of miR-181a was then analyzed. After transfection with miR-181a mimic or scramble following MPP+ treatment, the expression of autophagy protein markers (LC3II, LC3I, and Beclin 1) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK) signaling proteins (p-p38, p38, p-JNK, and JNK) and cell apoptosis were detected. Furthermore, the cells were transfected with miR-181a inhibitor and cultured in the presence or absence of p38 inhibitor SB203582 or JNK inhibitor SP600125, and the cell apoptosis was tested again.

RESULTS: The expression of miR-181a was gradually decreased with the increase of MPP+ concentration (P<0.05, P<0.01, or P<0.001). Overexpression of miR-181a significantly decreased the LC3II/LC3I ratio, Beclin 1 expression, cell apoptosis, and the expression of p-p38 and p-JNK compared to the MPP+ + miR-181a scramble group (all P<0.05). In addition, we observed that SB203582 or SP600125 showed no effects on cell apoptosis, but the effects of miR-181a inhibitor on cell apoptosis were reversed by administration of SB203582 or SP600125 compared to the scramble group (P<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that miR-181a regulates apoptosis and autophagy in PD by inhibiting the p38 MAPK/JNK pathway.

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750