Research ArticleNeuroscience

The microRNA miR-7a-5p ameliorates ischemic brain damage by repressing α-synuclein

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Science Signaling  11 Dec 2018:
Vol. 11, Issue 560, eaat4285
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aat4285

Treating stroke with miRNA mimics

The loss and subsequent return of blood flow in the brain that occurs with a stroke (called ischemia-reperfusion) damages brain tissue and, consequently, can be lethal or severely impair cognitive and motor functions. Kim et al. found that treating rodents with an oligonucleotide mimicking the microRNA miR-7 either before or within 30 min (but not 2 hours) after focal cerebral ischemia reduced the amount of brain damage and improved motor recovery. The mimic appeared to work by repressing expression of the protein α-synuclein, which is associated with neuronal death in various diseases. These findings suggest that rapid treatment with the miR-7 mimic, or possibly preventive treatment in those at high risk, may prevent brain damage and improve quality of life after a stroke.

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