Integrated expression profiles of mRNA and miRNA in polarized primary murine microglia

Robert W. Freilich, Maya E. Woodbury, Tsuneya Ikezu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neuroinflammation contributes to many neurologic disorders including Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, and stroke. Microglia is brain resident myeloid cells and have emerged as a key driver of the neuroinflammatory responses. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) provide a novel layer of gene regulation and play a critical role in regulating the inflammatory response of peripheral macrophages. However, little is known about the miRNA in inflammatory activation of microglia. To elucidate the role that miRNAs have on microglial phenotypes under classical (M1) or alternative (M2) activation under lipopolysaccharide ('M1'-skewing) and interleukin-4 ('M2a'-skewing) stimulation conditions, we performed microarray expression profiling and bioinformatics analysis of both mRNA and miRNA using primary cultured murine microglia. miR-689, miR-124, and miR-155 were the most strongly associated miRNAs predicted to mediate pro-inflammatory pathways and M1-like activation phenotype. miR-155, the most strongly up-regulated miRNA, regulates the signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 signaling pathway enabling the late phase response to M1-skewing stimulation. Reduced expression in miR-689 and miR-124 are associated with dis-inhibition of many canonical inflammatory pathways. miR-124, miR-711, miR-145 are the strongly associated miRNAs predicted to mediate anti-inflammatory pathways and M2-like activation phenotype. Reductions in miR-711 and miR-124 may regulate inflammatory signaling pathways and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma pathway. miR-145 potentially regulate peripheral monocyte/macrophage differentiation and faciliate the M2-skewing phenotype. Overall, through combined miRNA and mRNA expression profiling and bioinformatics analysis we have identified six miRNAs and their putative roles in M1 and M2-skewing of microglial activation through different signaling pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere79416
JournalPloS one
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 11 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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