A pilot study on the relationship between miR-181a and RGCs in retinal ischemia-reperfusion injury model

Authors: Liu Jinnan,  He Yu,  Zhang Junjun,  Fan Wei
DOI: 10.3760/cma.j.issn.2095-0160.2015.11.006
Published 2015-11-10
Cite as Chin J Exp Ophthalmol, 2015,33(11): 985-990.

Abstract                                [Download PDF] [Read Full Text]


Retinal ischemia-reperfusion (RIR) injury is a common pathologic change.Its mechanism has not been identified.


This study was to investigate the relationship of microRNA-181a (miR-181a), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and retinal ganglial cells (RGCs) in RIR injury.


RIR models were induced in 68 rats, then the rats were randomly divided into control group and RIR groups, including 0 hour group, 24-hour group and 72-hour group by random number table.Predicted target gene TNF-α was chosen, according to MiRanda, Targetscan and miRBase databases.Immunofluorescent labeling, Western blot and quantitative real-time PCR were used to identify the expression levels of miR-181a, TNF-α and RGCs.Immunofluorescent labeling of RGCs in retinal flat mounts was analyzed for RGCs counts.


Compared with the control group, RGCs densitiy was obviously decreased in 24-hour and 72-hour RIR groups (P<0.001). The expression level of mir-181a significantly decreased with reperfusion time in the RIR groups (P<0.05). Futhermore, the expression level of miR-181a was positively correlated with RGCs numbers (r=0.995, P=0.005). TNF-α and miR-181a were mainly located in inner layers of retina.As opposed to the changes in RGCs numbers and miR-181a expression, TNF-α in 24-hour group was obviously higher than that of the 0-hour group, though there was no statistical significance in overall correlation analysis.


In RIR, miR-181a may be involved in regulating RGCs apoptosis.TNF-α may be a target gene of miR-181a.Interventions within 24 hours after reperfusion might be critical.Further study of miR-181a may help to explore new molecular targets for neuroprotection treatment.

Key words:

Retinal ischemia-reperfusion; Retinal ganglion cells; Tumor necrosis factor-α; microRNA-181a

Contributor Information

Liu Jinnan
Department of Ophthamology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Chengdu, Chongqing Medical University, the Third People’s Hospital of Chengdu, Chengdu 610031, China
He Yu
Zhang Junjun
Fan Wei
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Updated: February 28, 2023 — 9:23 am