MicroRNA 146a locally mediates distal axonal growth of dorsal root ganglia neurons under high glucose and sildenafil conditions

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Axonal loss contributes to induction of diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Sildenafil, a phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor, ameliorates neurological dysfunction in diabetic peripheral neuropathy. However, the direct effect of high glucose and sildenafil on axonal growth has not been extensively investigated. Using rat primary dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons cultured in a microfluidic chamber, we investigated the effect of axonal application of high glucose and sildenafil on distal axonal growth. We found that axonal, but not cell body, application of high glucose locally inhibited distal axonal growth. However, axonal application of sildenafil overcame high glucose-reduced axonal growth. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) and Western blot analysis of distal axonal samples revealed that high glucose reduced axonal miR-146a levels and substantially increased miR-146a target genes, IRAK1 and TRAF6 in the axon. In contrast, sildenafil significantly reversed high glucose-reduced miR-146a levels and high glucose-increased IRAK1 and TRAF6. Gain- and loss-of function of miR-146a in DRG neurons revealed that miR-146a mediated the local effect of high glucose on the distal axonal growth. These in vitro data provide new insights into molecular mechanisms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

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Animals; Argonaute Proteins; Axons; Cells, Cultured; DEAD-box RNA Helicases; Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental; Diabetic Neuropathies; Ganglia, Spinal; Glucose; Interleukin-1 Receptor-Associated Kinases; MicroRNAs; Neuronal Outgrowth; Neuroprotective Agents; Phosphodiesterase 5 Inhibitors; Rats, Wistar; Ribonuclease III; Sildenafil Citrate; TNF Receptor-Associated Factor 6

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