Experimental and therapeutic medicine

Early and late effects of prenatal corticosteroid treatment on the microRNA profiles of lung tissue in rats.

PMID 26997989


Glucocorticoids have been administered to mothers at risk of premature delivery to induce maturation of preterm fetal lungs and prevent the development of respiratory distress syndrome. Micro (mi)RNAs serve various crucial functions in cell proliferation, differentiation and organ development; however, few studies have demonstrated an association between miRNAs and lung development. The aim of the present study was to investigate alterations in the miRNA profiles of rat lung tissue following prenatal glucocorticoid therapy for fetal lung development. The differences in miRNA expression profiles were compared between postnatal days 7 (D7) and 120 (D120) rat lung tissues, followed by validation using reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The miRNA profiles of rat lung tissues following prenatal dexamethasone (DEX) therapy were also investigated. miRNAs with 2-fold changes were selected for further analysis. At D120, 6 upregulated and 6 downregulated miRNAs were detected, compared with D7. Among these differentially expressed miRNAs, miR-101-3p and miR-99b-5p were associated with the lowest and highest expressions of miRNA at D7, respectively. A limited impact on the miRNA profiles of rat lung tissues was observed following prenatal DEX treatment, which may help to further clarify the mechanisms underlying normal lung development. However, the results of the present study cannot entirely elucidate the effects of prenatal DEX treatment on the lung development of premature infants, and further studies investigating the impact of prenatal corticosteroids on fetal lung miRNA profiles are required.

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