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Front Mol Neurosci. 2014 Feb 11;7:11. doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2014.00011. eCollection 2014.

MicroRNA responses to focal cerebral ischemia in male and female mouse brain.

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Dow Neurobiology Laboratories, Legacy Research Institute Portland, OR, USA.
Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University Portland, OR, USA.


Stroke occurs with greater frequency in men than in women across diverse ethnic backgrounds and nationalities. Work from our lab and others have revealed a sex-specific sensitivity to cerebral ischemia whereby males exhibit a larger extent of brain damage resulting from an ischemic event compared to females. Previous studies revealed that microRNA (miRNA) expression is regulated by cerebral ischemia in males; however, no studies to date have examined the effect of ischemia on miRNA responses in females. Thus, we examined miRNA responses in male and female brain in response to cerebral ischemia using miRNA arrays. These studies revealed that in male and female brains, ischemia leads to both a universal miRNA response as well as a sexually distinct response to challenge. Target prediction analysis of the miRNAs increased in male or female ischemic brain reveal sex-specific differences in gene targets and protein pathways. These data support that the mechanisms underlying sexually dimorphic responses to cerebral ischemia includes distinct changes in miRNAs in male and female brain, in addition to a miRNA signature response to ischemia that is common to both.


array analysis; cerebral ischemia; microRNA; pathway analysis; qRT-PCR; sex-differences; stroke

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