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PLoS One. 2019 Jun 12;14(6):e0218282. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0218282. eCollection 2019.

MicroRNA expression profile in retina and choroid in oxygen-induced retinopathy model.

Author information

1
Department of Ophthalmology, Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital Research Center, University of Montréal, Montréal, Québec, Canada.
2
Departments of Pediatrics, Ophthalmology and Pharmacology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Justine Research Center, Montréal, Québec, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Ischemic retinopathies (IRs) are leading causes of visual impairment. They are characterized by an initial phase of microvascular degeneration and a second phase of aberrant pre-retinal neovascularization (NV). microRNAs (miRNAs) regulate gene expression, and a number play a role in normal and pathological NV. But, post-transcriptional modulation of miRNAs in the eye during the development of IRs has not been systematically evaluated.

AIMS & METHODS:

Using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) we profiled miRNA expression in the retina and choroid during vasodegenerative and NV phases of oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR).

RESULTS:

Approximately 20% of total miRNAs exhibited altered expression (up- or down-regulation); 6% of miRNA were found highly expressed in retina and choroid of rats subjected to OIR. During OIR-induced vessel degeneration phase, miR-199a-3p, -199a-5p, -1b, -126a-3p displayed a robust decreased expression (> 85%) in the retina. While in the choroid, miR-152-3p, -142-3p, -148a-3p, -532-3p were upregulated (>200%) and miR-96-5p, -124-3p, -9a-3p, -190b-5p, -181a-1-3p, -9a-5p, -183-5p were downregulated (>70%) compared to controls. During peak pathological NV, miR-30a-5p, -30e-5p and 190b-5p were markedly reduced (>70%), and miR-30e-3p, miR-335, -30b-5p strongly augmented (by up to 300%) in the retina. Whereas in choroid, miR-let-7f-5p, miR-126a-5p and miR-101a-3p were downregulated by (>81%), and miR-125a-5p, let-7e-5p and let-7g-5p were upregulated by (>570%) during NV. Changes in miRNA observed using NGS were validated using qRT-PCR for the 24 most modulated miRNAs. In silico approach to predict miRNA target genes (using algorithms of miRSystem database) identified potential new target genes with pro-inflammatory, apoptotic and angiogenic properties.

CONCLUSION:

The present study is the first comprehensive description of retinal/choroidal miRNAs profiling in OIR (using NGS technology). Our results provide a valuable framework for the characterization and possible therapeutic potential of specific miRNAs involved in ocular IR-triggered inflammation, angiogenesis and degeneration.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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