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Mol Neurobiol. 2018 Dec;55(12):9089-9099. doi: 10.1007/s12035-018-1047-3. Epub 2018 Apr 10.

MiR-34a Regulates Axonal Growth of Dorsal Root Ganglia Neurons by Targeting FOXP2 and VAT1 in Postnatal and Adult Mouse.

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Department of Neurology, Henry Ford Hospital, 2799 West Grand Boulevard, Detroit, MI, 48202, USA.
Department of Neurolgoy, Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China.
Department of Physics Oakland University, Rochester, MI, 48309, USA.
Department of Neurology, Henry Ford Hospital, 2799 West Grand Boulevard, Detroit, MI, 48202, USA.


Hyperglycemia impairs nerve fibers of dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons, leading to diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN). However, the molecular mechanisms underlying DPN are not fully understood. Using a mouse model of type II diabetes (db/db mouse), we found that microRNA-34a (miR-34a) was over-expressed in DRG, sciatic nerve, and foot pad tissues of db/db mice. In vitro, high glucose significantly upregulated miR-34a in postnatal and adult DRG neurons, which was associated with inhibition of axonal growth. Overexpression and attenuation of miR-34a in postnatal and adult DRG neurons suppressed and promoted, respectively, axonal growth. Bioinformatic analysis suggested that miR-34a putatively targets forkhead box protein P2 (FOXP2) and vesicle amine transport 1 (VAT1), which were decreased in diabetic tissues and in cultured DRG neurons under high glucose conditions. Dual-luciferase assay showed that miR-34a downregulated FOXP2 and VAT1 expression by targeting their 3' UTR. Gain-of- and loss-of-function analysis showed an inverse relation between augmentation of miR-34a and reduction of FOXP2 and VAT1 proteins in postnatal and adult DRG neurons. Knockdown of FOXP2 and VAT1 reduced axonal growth. Together, these findings suggest that miR-34a and its target genes of FOXP2 and VAT1 are involved in DRG neuron damage under hyperglycemia.


Axon growth; Neuron; Peripheral neuropathy; miR-34a

[Available on 2018-12-01]

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