Overexpression of miR-124 in Motor Neurons Plays a Key Role in ALS Pathological Processes

Ana Rita Vaz, Daniela Vizinha, Hermes Morais, Ana Rita Colaço, Gecioni Loch-Neckel, Marta Barbosa, Dora Brites
2021 International Journal of Molecular Sciences  
miRNA(miR)-124 is an important regulator of neurogenesis, but its upregulation in SOD1G93A motor neurons (mSOD1 MNs) was shown to associate with neurodegeneration and microglia activation. We used pre-miR-124 in wild-type (WT) MNs and anti-miR-124 in mSOD1 MNs to characterize the miR-124 pathological role. miR-124 overexpression in WT MNs produced a miRNA profile like that of mSOD1 MNs (high miR-125b; low miR-146a and miR-21), and similarly led to early apoptosis. Alterations in mSOD1 MNs were
more » ... in mSOD1 MNs were abrogated with anti-miR-124 and changes in their miRNAs mostly recapitulated by their secretome. Normalization of miR-124 levels in mSOD1 MNs prevented the dysregulation of neurite network, mitochondria dynamics, axonal transport, and synaptic signaling. Same alterations were observed in WT MNs after pre-miR-124 transfection. Secretome from mSOD1 MNs triggered spinal microglia activation, which was unno-ticed with that from anti-miR-124-modulated cells. Secretome from such modulated MNs, when added to SC organotypic cultures from mSOD1 mice in the early symptomatic stage, also coun-teracted the pathology associated to GFAP decrease, PSD-95 and CX3CL1-CX3CR1 signaling im-pairment, neuro-immune homeostatic imbalance, and enhanced miR-124 expression levels. Data suggest that miR-124 is implicated in MN degeneration and paracrine-mediated pathogenicity. We propose miR-124 as a new therapeutic target and a promising ALS biomarker in patient sub-populations.
doi:10.3390/ijms22116128 fatcat:qtawef2n3fbmng5gzoxyvu7l54