Shenfu Injection (SFI) is a classical Chinese medicine used to treat heart failure. Previous studies have demonstrated that miRNAs undergo changes in rats with myocardial hypertrophy induced by abdominal aortic constriction. Interestingly, there was a significant change in miR-19a-3p, whose target gene is known to be associated with MEF2 signaling. However, whether and how SFI regulates miR-19a-3p in the treatment of myocardial hypertrophy has not been investigated. The purpose of a recent study was to investigate the regulatory effect of SFI on miR-19a-3p in MEF2 signaling in the rat hypertrophic myocardium.

Using miRNA microarray technology, researchers found that the miR-19a-3p expression level was significantly decreased in the hypertrophic myocardium, and MEF2A was the target gene of miR-19a-3p. The protein expressions of MEF2A, β-MHC, BNP and TRPC1 were significantly increased in hypertrophic cardiomyocytes. MiR-19a-3p was up-regulated after SFI treatment and the protein expressions of these genes were significantly decreased. In addition, miR-19a-3p over-expression in hypertrophic cardiomyocytes could decrease MEF2A mRNA and protein expressions, and anti-miR-19a-3p showed the opposite result.

This study provided substantial evidence that miR-19a-3p plays a functional role in MEF2 signaling in myocardial hypertrophy. SFI attenuated cardiomyocyte hypertrophy probably through up-regulating or maintaining the miR-19a-3p levels and regulating the MEF2 signaling pathway.

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Heat map of differentially expressed miRNAs. (A) 13 differentially expressed miRNAs from the myocardial tissues between sham-operation group (n = 3) and model group (n = 3). (B) 10 differentially expressed miRNAs from the myocardial tissues between model group (n = 3) and SFI group (n = 3). Each row represents one miRNA, and each column represents a myocardial tissue sample. The legend on the right indicates miRNA represented in the corresponding row. The relative miRNA expression is depicted according to the color scale. Red indicates up-regulation, and green indicates down-regulation.


Zhu-Jun Mao, Quan-Long Zhang, Jia Shang, Ting Gao, Wen-Jun Yuan, Lu-Ping Qin (2018) Shenfu Injection attenuates rat myocardial hypertrophy by up-regulating miR-19a-3p expression Scientific Reports doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-23137-4 [article]

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