Expression pattern of miR-146a, an inflammation-associated microRNA, in experimental and human temporal lobe epilepsy

Eur J Neurosci. 2010 Mar;31(6):1100-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2010.07122.x. Epub 2010 Feb 26.


Increasing evidence supports the involvement of inflammatory and immune processes in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). MicroRNAs (miRNA) represent small regulatory RNA molecules that have been shown to act as negative regulators of gene expression controlling different biological processes, including immune-system homeostasis and function. We investigated the expression and cellular distribution of miRNA-146a (miR-146a) in a rat model of TLE as well as in human TLE. miR-146a analysis in rat hippocampus was performed by polymerase chain reaction and immunocytochemistry at 1 week and 3-4 months after induction of status epilepticus (SE). Prominent upregulation of miR-146a activation was evident at 1 week after SE and persisted in the chronic phase. The miR-146a expression was confirmed to be present in reactive astrocytes. In human TLE with hippocampal sclerosis, increased astroglial expression of miR-146a was observed mainly in regions where neuronal cell loss and reactive gliosis occurred. The increased and persistent expression of miR-146a in reactive astrocytes supports the possible involvement of miRNAs in the modulation of the astroglial inflammatory response occurring in TLE and provides a target for future studies aimed at developing strategies against pro-epileptogenic inflammatory signalling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Electric Stimulation / adverse effects
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / etiology
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / metabolism*
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / pathology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology*
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / metabolism
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Hippocampus / pathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuroglia / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein
  • MIRN146 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs