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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Up-Regulation of miRNA-21 Expression Promotes Migration and Proliferation of Sca-1+ Cardiac Stem Cells in Mice

Qingling Zhou, Qiang Sun, Yongshan Zhang, Fei Teng, Jinhui Sun

Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, The Second Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2016; 22:1724-1732

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.895753

Available online: 2016-05-23

Published: 2016-05-23


BACKGROUND: This study, by regulating the expression level of microRNA-21 (miRNA-21) in antigen-1+ (Sca-1+) cardiac stem cells (CSCs), examined the role of miRNA-21 in migration, proliferation, and differentiation of Sca-1+ CSCs, and explored the use of miRNA-21 in treatment of heart-related diseases in mice.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: The CSCs of 20 healthy 2-month-old C57BL/6 mice were collected in our study. Immunomagnetic beads were used to separate and prepare pure Sca-1+ CSCs, which were further examined by flow cytometry. The samples were assigned to 4 groups: the blank group, the miRNA-21 mimic group, the miRNA-21 inhibitor group, and the negative control (NC) group. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), Transwell chamber assay, and the methyl thiazolylte-trazolium (MTT) assay were performed. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used to measure the expression levels of GATA-4, MEF2c, TNI, and β-MHC differentiation-related genes.
RESULTS: Immunomagnetic separation results indicated that Sca-1+ CSCs accounted for more than 87.4% of CSCs. RT-PCR results also showed that the expression level of miRNA-21 of the miRNA-21 mimic group was higher than those of the other groups (all P<0.05). Compared to the NC and the blank group, the migration of Sca-1+ CSCs was more active in the miRNA-21 mimic group and less active in the miRNA-21 inhibitor group (all P<0.05). Moreover, compared to the blank group, the proliferation of Sca-1+ CSCs was enhanced in the miRNA-21 mimic group and inhibited in the miRNA-21 inhibitor group (all P<0.05). The results of RT-PCR indicated that neither miRNA-21 mimics nor miR-21 inhibitors influenced the gene expression levels of GATA-4, MEF2c, TNI, or β-MHC.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides evidence that up-regulation of miRNA-21 can promote migration and proliferation of Sca-1+ CSCs to enhance the capacity of Sca-1+ CSCs to repair damaged myocardium, which may pave the way for therapeutic strategies directed toward restoring miRNA-21 function for heart-related diseases.

Keywords: Ataxin-1 - genetics, Animals, Cell Differentiation - genetics, Cell Movement - genetics, Cell Proliferation - genetics, Cells, Cultured, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, MicroRNAs - genetics, Myocardium - metabolism, Stem Cells - physiology, Tumor Cells, Cultured, Up-Regulation