Remote postconditioning ameliorates stroke damage by preventing let-7a and miR-143 up-regulation

Antonio Vinciguerra, Pasquale Cepparulo, Serenella Anzilotti, Ornella Cuomo, Valeria Valsecchi, Salvatore Amoroso, Lucio Annunziato, Giuseppe Pignataro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Remote limb ischemic postconditioning (RLIP) is a well-established neuroprotective strategy able to protect the brain from a previous harmful ischemic insult through a sub-lethal occlusion of the femoral artery. Neural and humoral mechanisms have been proposed as mediators required to transmit the peripheral signal from limb to brain. Moreover, different studies suggest that protection observed at brain level is associated to a general genetic reprogramming involving also microRNAs (miRNAs) intervention. Methods: Brain ischemia was induced in male rats by transient occlusion of the middle cerebral artery (tMCAO), whereas RLIP was achieved by one cycle of temporary occlusion of the ipsilateral femoral artery after tMCAO. The expression profile of 810 miRNAs was evaluated in ischemic brain samples from rats subjected either to tMCAO or to RLIP. Among all analyzed miRNAs, there were four whose expression were upregulated after stroke and returned to basal level after RLIP, thus suggesting a possible involvement in RLIP-induced neuroprotection. These selected miRNAs were intracerebroventricularly infused in rats subjected to remote ischemic postconditioning, and their effect was evaluated in terms of brain damage, neurological deficit scores and expression of putative targets. Results: Twenty-one miRNAs, whose expression was significantly affected by tMCAO and by tMCAO plus RLIP, were selected based on microarray microfluidic profiling. Our data showed that: (1) stroke induced an up-regulation of let-7a and miR-143 (2) these two miRNAs were involved in the protective effects induced by RLIP and (3) HIF1-α contributes to their protective effect. Indeed, their expression was reduced after RLIP and the exogenous intracerebroventricularly infusion of let-7a and miR-143 mimics prevented neuroprotection and HIF1-α overexpression induced by RLIP. Conclusions: Prevention of cerebral let-7a and miR-143 overexpression induced by brain ischemia emerges as new potential strategy in stroke intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12174-12188
Number of pages15
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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