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Cell Physiol Biochem. 2016;38(1):258-66. doi: 10.1159/000438627. Epub 2016 Jan 20.

Mesenchymal Stem Cells Alleviate LPS-Induced Acute Lung Injury in Mice by MiR-142a-5p-Controlled Pulmonary Endothelial Cell Autophagy.

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Department of Anesthesiology, Taizhou Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Taizhou, China.



Damages of pulmonary endothelial cells (PECs) represent a critical pathological process during acute lung injury (ALI), and precede pulmonary epithelial cell injury, and long-term lung dysfunction. Transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) has proven therapeutic effects on ALI, whereas the underlying mechanisms remain ill-defined.


We transplanted MSCs in mice and then induced ALI using Lipopolysaccharides (LPS). We analyzed the changes in permeability index and lung histology. Mouse PECs were isolated by flow cytometry based on CD31 expression and then analyzed for autophagy-associated factors LC3 and Beclin-1 by Western blot. Beclin-1 mRNA was determined by RT-qPCR. In vitro, we performed bioinformatics analyses to identify the MSCs-regulated miRNAs that target Beclin-1, and confirmed that the binding was functional by 3'-UTR luciferase reporter assay.


We found that MSCs transplantation significantly reduced the severity of LPS-induced ALI in mice. MSCs increased autophagy of PECs to promote PEC survival. MSCs increased Beclin-1 protein but not mRNA. MiR-142a-5p was found to target the 3'-UTR of Beclin-1 mRNA to inhibit its protein translation in PECs. MSCs reduced the levels of miR-142a-5p in PECs from LPS-treated mice.


MSCs may alleviate LPS-ALI through downregulation of miR-142a-5p, which allows PECs to increase Beclin-1-mediated cell autophagy.

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