- Iacomini J, Jurisch A, Stephan K, Tullius SG, Godwin JG. (2010) Identification of a microRNA signature of renal ischemia reperfusion injury. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107(32), 14339-44.
Renal ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI) is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Given the importance of microRNAs (miRNAs) in regulating gene expression, we examined expression profiles of miRNAs following renal IRI. Global miRNA expression profiling on samples prepared from the kidneys of C57BL/6 mice that underwent unilateral warm ischemia revealed nine miRNAs (miR-21, miR-20a, miR-146a, miR-199a-3p, miR-214, miR-192, miR-187, miR-805, and miR-194) that are differentially expressed following IRI when compared with sham controls. These miRNAs were also differently expressed following IRI in immunodeficient RAG-2/common gamma-chain double-knockout mice, suggesting that the changes in expression observed are not significantly influenced by lymphocyte infiltration and therefore define a lymphocyte-independent signature of renal IRI. In vitro studies revealed that miR-21 is expressed in proliferating tubular epithelial cells (TEC) and up-regulated by both cell-intrinsic and -extrinsic mechanisms resulting from ischemia and TGF-beta signaling, respectively. In vitro, knockdown of miR-21 in TEC resulted in increased cell death, whereas overexpression prevented cell death. However, overexpression of miR-21 alone was not sufficient to prevent TEC death following ischemia. Our findings therefore define a molecular fingerprint of renal injury and suggest miR-21 may play a role in protecting TEC from death.