Cardiovascular pathology : the official journal of the Society for Cardiovascular Pathology

Inhibiting microRNA-144 abates oxidative stress and reduces apoptosis in hearts of streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice.

PMID 26164195


Hyperglycemia-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation contributes to the development of diabetic cardiomyopathy. However, little is known about the role of microRNAs in the regulation of ROS formation and myocardial apoptosis in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic mice. It was observed that microRNA-144 (miR-144) level was lower in heart tissues of STZ-induced diabetic mice. High glucose exposure also reduced miR-144 levels in cultured cardiomyocytes. Moreover, miR-144 modulated high glucose-induced oxidative stress in cultured cardiomyocytes by directly targeting nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), which was a central regulator of cellular response to oxidative stress. The miR-144 mimics aggravated high glucose-induced ROS formation and apoptosis in cardiomyocytes, which could be attenuated by treatment with Dh404, an activator of Nrf2. Meanwhile, inhibition of miR-144 suppressed ROS formation and apoptosis induced by high glucose in cultured cardiomyocytes. What was more important is that reduced myocardial oxidative stress and apoptosis and improved cardiac function were identified in STZ-induced diabetic mice when treated with miR-144 antagomir. Although miR-144 cannot explain the increased oxidative stress in STZ, therapeutic interventions directed at decreasing miR-144 may help to decrease oxidative stress in these hearts. Inhibition of miR-144 might have clinical potential to abate oxidative stress as well as to reduce cardiomyocyte apoptosis and improve cardiac function in diabetic cardiomyopathy.