Int J Biol Sci 2016; 12(8):979-989. doi:10.7150/ijbs.15071 This issue

Research Paper

BDNF-mediates Down-regulation of MicroRNA-195 Inhibits Ischemic Cardiac Apoptosis in Rats

Pengzhou Hang1, Chuan Sun1, Jing Guo1, Jing Zhao2, Zhimin Du1✉

1. Institute of Clinical Pharmacology of the Second Affiliated Hospital (Key Laboratory of Drug Research, Heilongjiang Higher Education Institutions), Harbin Medical University, Harbin 150086, Heilongjiang Province, P. R. China;
2. Department of Cardiology, the First Affiliated Hospital (Key Laboratory of Cardiac Diseases and Heart Failure), Harbin Medical University, Harbin 150001, Heilongjiang Province, P. R. China.

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Hang P, Sun C, Guo J, Zhao J, Du Z. BDNF-mediates Down-regulation of MicroRNA-195 Inhibits Ischemic Cardiac Apoptosis in Rats. Int J Biol Sci 2016; 12(8):979-989. doi:10.7150/ijbs.15071. Available from

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Graphic abstract

Background: Our previous studies suggested that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)/tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB) axis inhibited cardiomyocyte apoptosis in myocardial infarction (MI). However, the relationship between BDNF and microRNA (miRNA) in cardiomyocytes are unclear. The present study was performed to investigate the role of miR-195 and the interplay between BDNF and miR-195 in ischemic cardiomyocyte apoptosis.

Methods: Male Wistar rats were subjected to coronary artery ligation, and primary neonatal rat ventricular myocytes were treated with hypoxia or hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). BDNF level in rat ventricles was measured by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). miR-195 mimic, inhibitor or negative control was transfected into the cardiomyocytes. Cell viability and apoptosis were detected by MTT assay and TdT-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) staining, respectively. Cardiac function and apoptosis were detected in MI rats intravenously injected with antagomiR-195. Luciferase assay, Western blot and Real-time RT-PCR were employed to clarify the interplay between miR-195 and BDNF.

Results: miR-195 level was dynamically regulated in response to MI and significantly increased in ischemic regions 24 h post-MI as well as in hypoxic or H2O2-treated cardiomyocytes. Meanwhile, BDNF protein level was rapidly increased in MI rats and H2O2-treated cardiomyocytes. Apoptosis in both hypoxic and H2O2-treated cardiomyocytes were markedly reduced and cell viability was increased by miR-195 inhibitor. Moreover, inhibition of miR-195 significantly improved cardiac function of MI rats. Bcl-2 but not BDNF was validated as the direct target of miR-195. Furthermore, BDNF abolished the pro-apoptotic role of miR-195, which was reversed by its scavenger TrkB-Fc.

Conclusion: Up-regulation of miR-195 in ischemic cardiomyocytes promotes ischemic apoptosis by targeting Bcl-2. BDNF mitigated the pro-apoptotic effect of miR-195 in rat cardiomyocytes. These findings may provide better understanding of the pro-apoptotic role of miR-195 in MI and suggest that BDNF/miR-195/Bcl-2 axis may be beneficial for limiting myocardial ischemic injury.

Keywords: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor, miR-195, Myocardial ischemia, Apoptosis, Bcl-2.