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Promoting Role of Long Non-Coding RNA Small Nucleolar RNA Host Gene 15 (SNHG15) in Neuronal Injury Following Ischemic Stroke via the MicroRNA-18a/CXC Chemokine Ligand 13 (CXCL13)/ERK/MEK Axis

Tiezhu Guo, Yueting Liu, Xinliang Ren, Wei Wang, Hanrui Liu

Department of Neurosurgery, Heji Hospital Affiliated with Changzhi Medical College, Changzhi, Shanxi, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2020; 26:e923610

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.923610

Available online: 2020-06-30

Published: 2020-08-30

BACKGROUND: Long-non-coding RNA (lncRNA) SNHG15 has been reported to be an aberrantly expressed lncRNA in patients with ischemic stroke, but its role in neuronal injury following ischemic stroke remains unclear. We hypothesized that this lncRNA is associated with the pathogenesis of ischemic stroke.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A mouse model of ischemic stroke was established by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). A neurogenic mouse cell line Neuro-2a (N2a) was subjected to oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) for in vitro experiments. Expression of SNHG15, microRNA-18a (miR-18a), and CXCL13 in mouse brain and in OGD-treated N2a cells was determined. Altered expression of SNHG15 and miR-18a was introduced to detect their roles in N2a cell viability and apoptosis. Targeting relationships between miR-18a and SNHG15 or CXCL13 were validated by luciferase assays. Cells were treated with the ERK/MEK antagonist U0126 to assess the role of the ERK/MEK signaling pathway in N2a cell growth.
RESULTS: SNHG15 and CXCL13 were overexpressed and miR-18a was underexpressed in MCAO-induced mice and OGD-treated N2a cells. Silencing of SNHG15 or overexpression of miR-18a promoted cell viability, while decreased cell apoptosis induced by OGD; however, subsequent disruption of the ERK/MEK signaling pathway reversed these effects. SNHG15 was found to bind to miR-18a, which could further target CXCL13.
CONCLUSIONS: Silencing of SNHG15 led to CXCL13 upregulation through sequestering miR-18a and the following ERK/MEK activation, thus enhancing viability while reducing apoptosis of N2a cells. SNHG15 may serve as a novel target for ischemic stroke treatment.

Keywords: Chemokine CXCL13, MicroRNAs, Stroke