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Front. Mol. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2018.00471

Electroacupuncture improves neurobehavioral function through targeting of SOX2-mediated axonal regeneration by microRNA-132 after ischemic stroke

 Xiaoying Zhao1, Fuhai Bai1,  Erfei Zhang1, Dandan Zhou1, Tao Jiang1, Heng Zhou1 and  Qiang Wang2*
  • 1Fourth Military Medical University, China
  • 2Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Xijing Hospital, Air Force Medical University, Xi'an, China, First Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University, China

Our previous studies have shown that electroacupuncture (EA) enhances neurobehavioral functional recovery after ischemic stroke, however, the underlying regulatory mechanisms remain unclear. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are abundant in the brain and are involved in post-transcriptional gene regulation. During cerebral ischemia reperfusion, miRNAs perform numerous biological functions in the central nervous system related to regeneration and repair of damaged nerves. Our previous studies also have shown that the expression of miRNA-132 (miR-132) is obviously down-regulated after stroke by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO), which can be up-regulated by EA. This study aimed to identify whether up-regulation of miR-132 by EA improved the damaged nerves after stroke and to screen the potential target of miR-132. The results showed that EA up-regulated miR-132 thus suppressing SOX2 expression in vivo after MCAO, which obviously ameliorated neurobehavioral functional recovery. Moreover, our results also suggested that up-regulated miR-132 suppressed SOX2 in primary neurons after oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD), which promoted neurite outgrowth. In conclusion, EA enhances neurobehavioral functional recovery against ischemic stroke through targeting of SOX2-mediated axonal regeneration by miR-132.

Keywords: stroke;, Electroacupuncture, MicroRNA-132, SOX2, Neurite outgrowth

Received: 05 Jul 2018; Accepted: 04 Dec 2018.

Edited by:

Ildikó Rácz, Universitätsklinikum Bonn, Germany

Reviewed by:

Gang Chen, Nantong University, China
Creed Stary, School of Medicine, Stanford University, United States  

Copyright: © 2018 Zhao, Bai, Zhang, Zhou, Jiang, Zhou and Wang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Qiang Wang, First Affiliated Hospital of Xi'an Jiaotong University, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Xijing Hospital, Air Force Medical University, Xi'an, China, Xi'an, China, dr.wangqiang@139.com