Detection and analysis of apoptosis- and autophagy-related miRNAs of mouse vascular endothelial cells in chronic intermittent hypoxia model

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Endothelial dysfunction is the main pathogenic mechanism of cardiovascular complications induced by obstructive sleep apnea/hyponea syndrome (OSAHS). Chronic intermittent hypoxia (CIH) is the primary factor of OSAHS-associated endothelial dysfunction. The hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) pathway regulates the expression of downstream target genes and mediates cell apoptosis caused by CIH-induced endothelial injury. miRNAs play extensive and important negative regulatory roles in this process at the post-transcriptional level. However, the regulatory mechanism of miRNAs in CIH tissue models remains unclear. The present study established a mouse aortic endothelial cell model of CIH in an attempt to screen out specific miRNAs by using miRNA chip analysis. It was found that 14 miRNAs were differentially expressed. Of them, 6 were significantly different and verified by quantitative real-time PCR (Q-PCR), of which four were up-regulated and two were down-regulated markedly. To gain an unbiased global perspective on subsequent regulation by altered miRNAs, we established signaling networks by GO to predict the target genes of the 6 miRNAs. It was found that the 6 identified miRNAs were apoptosis- or autophagy-related target genes. Down-regulation of miR-193 inhibits CIH induced endothelial injury and apoptosis- or autophagy-related protein expression. In conclusion, our results showed that CIH could induce differential expression of miRNAs, and alteration in the miRNA expression pattern was associated with the expression of apoptosis- or autophagy-related genes.

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