Research Papers:

Macrophage-stimulated microRNA expression in mural cells promotes transplantation-induced neointima formation

Xiaotong Guo, Mengyao Sun, Chaochao Dai, Xun Zhang, Qihui Yin, Jiaqi Ling, Xinyue Li, Xiao Wu, Fan Jiang and Jianli Wang _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:30100-30111. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.16279

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Xiaotong Guo1, Mengyao Sun1, Chaochao Dai1, Xun Zhang1, Qihui Yin1, Jiaqi Ling1, Xinyue Li1, Xiao Wu2,3, Fan Jiang1, Jianli Wang1

1Department of Pathology and Pathophysiology, School of Basic Medicine, Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong Province, China

2Key Laboratory of Cardiovascular Remodeling and Function Research, Chinese Ministry of Education and Chinese Ministry of Health, Qilu Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong Province, China

3State-Shandong Province Joint Key Laboratory of Translational Cardiovascular Medicine, Qilu Hospital of Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong Province, China

Correspondence to:

Fan Jiang, email: [email protected]

Jianli Wang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: transplant vasculopathy, neointima, macrophage, microRNA, mural cells

Received: November 02, 2016     Accepted: March 09, 2017     Published: March 16, 2017


In this study, we tested the possibility that macrophages might contribute to neointima formation by stimulating microRNA expressions in mural cells. Thoracic aortas from F344 rats were transplanted into recipient Lewis rats. Clodronate liposome was used for in vivo macrophage depletion. Using miR-21 as a prototypic example of vascular enriched microRNA, we showed that macrophage depletion reduced the expression level of miR-21, which was upregulated in the allograft. This effect of macrophage depletion was accompanied by attenuations in neointimal hyperplasia and transplantation-induced vascular inflammation. Using in vitro assays, we identified that macrophages might stimulate miR-21 expression in smooth muscle cells and adventitial fibroblasts via the release of tumor necrosis factor-α. We also showed that silencing of miR-21 suppressed tumor necrosis factor-induced proliferation, migration, and inflammatory responses in mural cells. Our results suggest that macrophage may promote transplantation-induced neointima formation by stimulating miR-21 expression in vascular mural cells, which promotes mural cell proliferation, migration and/or inflammation. Moreover, we have established that tumor necrosis factor-α has a major role in mediating this paracrine process.

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