Inhibition of miR-92d-3p enhances inflammation responses in genetically improved farmed tilapia (GIFT,Oreochromis niloticus) withStreptococcus iniaeinfection by modulating complement C3

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MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding RNAs that regulate target gene expression by binding to the 3′-untranslated regions (3′-UTRs) of their target mRNAs. The miR-92 family is an important miRNA family, which was discovered to be related to regulation of tumor proliferation, apoptosis, invasion, and metastasis. Inhibition of miR-92d-3p was found previously in head kidney of genetically improved farmed tilapia (GIFT, Oreochromis niloticus) exposed to Streptococcus iniae infection. In this study, we found that miR-92d-3p regulated complement C3 mRNA levels by binding to its 3′-UTR by 3′-UTR luciferase reporter assay, and reduced miR-92d-3p expression resulted in increased C3 mRNA levels. We detected a negative relationship between the expression levels of miR-92d-3p and C3 in GIFT injected with miRNA antagomir. We performed in vivo functional analysis by miR-92d-3p silencing. Inhibition of miR-92d-3p levels in GIFT head kidney caused a significant increase in C3 expression, which consequently increased the white blood cell counts and interleukin-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α, and interferon-γ mRNA levels, all of which may help to activate the inflammatory response in GIFT post-infection with S. iniae. Our findings indicate that miR-92d-3p regulated C3 levels by binding with the C3 mRNA 3′-UTR, and this interaction affected S. iniae infection induction and the immune response in GIFT. We concluded that miR-92d-3p plays an important role in modulating the inflammatory response in GIFT head kidney. Our findings may contribute to understanding the mechanisms of miRNA-mediated gene regulation in tilapia in response to S. iniae infection.

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