Research Papers:

MicroRNA-210 suppresses glucocorticoid receptor expression in response to hypoxia in fetal rat cardiomyocytes

Shannalee R. Martinez, Qingyi Ma, Chiranjib Dasgupta, Xianmei Meng and Lubo Zhang _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:80249-80264. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.17801

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Shannalee R. Martinez1, Qingyi Ma1, Chiranjib Dasgupta1, Xianmei Meng1 and Lubo Zhang1

1Center for Perinatal Biology, Division of Pharmacology, Department of Basic Sciences, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda, CA 92350, USA

Correspondence to:

Lubo Zhang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: hypoxia, microRNA-210, glucocorticoid receptor, cardiomyocyte, fetal programming

Received: April 04, 2017     Accepted: April 29, 2017     Published: May 11, 2017


Hypoxia is a common intrauterine stressor, often resulting in intrauterine growth restriction and increased risk for cardiovascular disease later in life. The aim of this work was to test the hypothesis that microRNA-210 (miR-210) mediates the detrimental suppression of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) in response to hypoxia in fetal rat cardiomyocytes. Cardiomyocytes isolated from gestational day 21 Sprague Dawley fetal rats showed increased miR-210 levels and reduced GR abundance after exposure to ex vivo hypoxia (1% O2). In regard to mechanisms, the different contributions of hypoxia response elements (HREs) motifs in the regulation of miR-210 promoter activity and the miR-210-mediated repression of GR expression were determined in rat embryonic heart-derived myogenic cell line H9c2. Moreover, using a cell culture-based model of hypoxia-reoxygenation injury, we assessed the cytotoxic effects of GR suppression under hypoxic conditions. The results showed that hypoxia induced HIF-1α-dependent miR-210 production, as well as miR-210-mediated GR suppression, in cardiomyocytes. Furthermore, inhibition or knockdown of GR exacerbated cell death in response to hypoxia-reoxygenation injury. Altogether, the present study demonstrates that the HIF-1α-dependent miR-210-mediated suppression of GR in fetal rat cardiomyocytes increases cell death in response to hypoxia, providing novel evidence for a possible mechanistic link between fetal hypoxia and programming of ischemic-sensitive phenotype in the developing heart.

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