The blood-brain barrier is composed of cerebrovascular endothelial cells and tight junctions, and maintaining its integrity is crucial for the homeostasis of the neuronal environment. Recently, we discovered that mitochondria play a critical role in maintaining blood-brain barrier integrity. We report for the first time a novel mechanism underlying blood-brain barrier integrity: miR-34a mediated regulation of blood-brain barrier through a mitochondrial mechanism. Bioinformatics analysis suggests miR-34a targets several mitochondria-associated gene candidates. We demonstrated that miR-34a triggers the breakdown of blood-brain barrier in cerebrovascular endothelial cell monolayer in vitro, paralleled by reduction of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation and adenosine triphosphate production, and decreased cytochrome c levels.
Keywords: Blood–brain barrier; cerebrovascular endothelial cells; cytochrome c; mir-34a; mitochondria.
© The Author(s) 2015.