Nano-topology guided neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells is mediated by miRNAs

Nanomedicine. 2014 Nov;10(8):1871-5. doi: 10.1016/j.nano.2014.07.011. Epub 2014 Aug 5.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are master regulators of gene expression at post-transcriptional level. The present study investigated the involvement of miRNAs in topological guidance of neurite outgrowth in an NGF treated PC12 cell model cultured on nano-patterned polyethylene terephthalate (PET) substrates fabricated with interference lithography. The expressions of 38 neuronal miRNAs were measured and 3 were found to be differentially regulated during topological guidance of neurite outgrowth. Altering the intracellular levels of these miRNAs disrupted the orderly growth of neurite along nano-patterned substrate. Our results showed miRNAs to be versatile regulators and their involvement should be thoroughly investigated for better understanding of biological processes.

From the clinical editor: In this basic science study, strong evidence was found that topological guidance is only one factor, and miRNA-s regulate axonal outgrowth from neurites. Nano-patterned polyethylene terephthalate substrates were used for the study, fabricated using interference lithography. Further studies of this biologically relevant process may pave the way to clinically useful axonal regrowth and axonal guidance methods.

Keywords: MicroRNAs; Nano-topology; Neurite; PC12.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • MicroRNAs / physiology
  • Neurites / metabolism*
  • Neurites / physiology*
  • PC12 Cells
  • Polyethylene Terephthalates / chemistry*
  • Rats


  • MicroRNAs
  • Polyethylene Terephthalates