Deep sequencing and miRNA profiles in alcohol-induced neuroinflammation and the TLR4 response in mice cerebral cortex

Sci Rep. 2018 Oct 29;8(1):15913. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-34277-y.


Alcohol abuse can induce brain injury and neurodegeneration, and recent evidence shows the participation of immune receptors toll-like in the neuroinflammation and brain damage. We evaluated the role of miRNAs as potential modulators of the neuroinflammation associated with alcohol abuse and the influence of the TLR4 response. Using mice cerebral cortex and next-generation sequencing (NGS), we identified miRNAs that were differentially expressed in the chronic alcohol-treated versus untreated WT or TLR4-KO mice. We observed a differentially expression of miR-183 Cluster (C) (miR-96/-182/-183), miR-200a and miR-200b, which were down-regulated, while mirR-125b was up-regulated in alcohol-treated WT versus (vs.) untreated mice. These miRNAs modulate targets genes related to the voltage-gated sodium channel, neuron hyperexcitability (Nav1.3, Trpv1, Smad3 and PP1-γ), as well as genes associated with innate immune TLR4 signaling response (Il1r1, Mapk14, Sirt1, Lrp6 and Bdnf). Functional enrichment of the miR-183C and miR-200a/b family target genes, revealed neuroinflammatory pathways networks involved in TLR4 signaling and alcohol abuse. The changes in the neuroinflammatory targets genes associated with alcohol abuse were mostly abolished in the TLR4-KO mice. Our results show the relationship between alcohol intake and miRNAs expression and open up new therapeutically targets to prevent deleterious effects of alcohol on the brain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism*
  • Ethanol / toxicity
  • Female
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Inflammation / chemically induced
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / pathology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • NAV1.3 Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel / genetics
  • NAV1.3 Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel / metabolism
  • Protein Interaction Maps / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Smad3 Protein / genetics
  • Smad3 Protein / metabolism
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4 / deficiency
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4 / genetics
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4 / metabolism*


  • MicroRNAs
  • NAV1.3 Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel
  • Smad3 Protein
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4
  • Ethanol