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Gut. 2012 Nov;61(11):1600-9. Epub 2012 Jan 20.

MicroRNA-221/222 upregulation indicates the activation of stellate cells and the progression of liver fibrosis.

Author information

1
Department of Hepatology, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka City University, 1-4-3 Asahimachi, Abeno, Osaka, Japan. kawadanori@med.osaka-cu.ac.jp

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important in hepatic pathophysiology and the development of liver cancer.

OBJECTIVE:

To explore miRNAs that are regulated with the progression of liver fibrosis caused by chronic liver disease.

DESIGN:

The regulated miRNAs in human livers infected with hepatitis C virus were identified by microarray analysis. Their expression in human livers with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, mouse livers from two fibrosis models and cultured stellate cells was validated by real-time RT-PCR. The regulation of miR-222 expression in stellate cells by nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) was assayed. Finally, the effects of an miR-222 precursor or inhibitor on the expression of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1B (CDKN1B) and the growth of LX-2 cells were determined.

RESULTS:

It was found that miR-199a-5p/199a-3p and miR-221/222 were upregulated in the human liver in a fibrosis progression-dependent manner. Among these miRNAs, miR-221/222 were upregulated in LX-2 cells and increased during the course of culture-dependent activation of mouse primary stellate cells, in a manner similar to the expression of α1(I) collagen and α-smooth muscle actin mRNAs. The expression of miR-221/222 increased in mouse models of liver fibrosis. In contrast, an NF-κB inhibitor significantly suppressed the miR-222 induction that was stimulated in culture by transforming growth factor α or tumour necrosis factor α. Although overexpression or downregulation of miR-222 failed to regulate the growth of LX-2 cells, miR-222 bound to the CDKN1B 3'UTR and regulated the expression of the corresponding protein.

CONCLUSION:

miR-221/222 may be new markers for stellate cell activation and liver fibrosis progression.

PMID:
22267590
DOI:
10.1136/gutjnl-2011-300717
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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