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miRNA-21 Expression in the Serum of Elderly Patients with Acute Myocardial Infarction

Zhong-Hua Wang, Xin-Yong Sun, Chun-Lei Li, Yan-Ming Sun, Jia Li, Lan-Feng Wang, Zhu-Qin Li

Department of Cardiac Care Unit, First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:5728-5734

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.904933

Available online:

Published: 2017-12-02

BACKGROUND: The aims of this study were to examine the expression of miRNA-21 in the serum of elderly patients (>65 years) with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and to investigate the potential role of serum miRNA-21 as a marker of early cardiac myocyte damage.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Thirty-eight elderly patients with recent AMI, 27 elderly patients with unstable angina pectoris, and 25 healthy elderly individuals were included in the study. Serum miRNA-21 expression was determined following total RNA extraction and reverse-transcribed into cDNA, followed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Serum creatine kinase MB isoenzyme (CK-MB) and cardiac troponin I (cTnI) levels were analyzed by electrochemiluminescence. Apoptosis of human cardiac myocytes (HCM) was analyzed using fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS), and protein expression of caspase-3 was detected using Western blot.
RESULTS: Expression levels of miRNA-21 in the serum of elderly patients with AMI were positively correlated with serum levels of CK-MB (r=0.3683, P=0.0229) and cTnI (r=0.5128, P=0.009). Following tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α induction, the apoptosis rates of HCM transfected with the miRNA-21 mimic short hairpin RNA (shRNA) were downregulated by 39.1% compared with control HCM cells, and protein expression of c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK) and p38 were unchanged (P>0.05); protein expression of p-JNK, p-p38 and caspase-3 were downregulated by 37.1%, 35.8%, and 36.0%, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Expression of miRNA-21 was upregulated in the serum of elderly patients with AMI, which inhibited TNF-a induced apoptosis in HCM by activating the JNK/p38/caspase-3 signaling pathway.

Keywords: Apoptosis, Frail Elderly