Although microRNA-144-3p (miRNA-144-3p) has been shown to suppress tumor proliferation and invasion, its function in intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH)-induced secondary brain injury (SBI) remains unclear. Thus, this study was designed to investigate the role of miRNA-144-3p in ICH. To accomplish this, we used adult male Sprague-Dawley rats to establish an in vivo ICH model by injecting autologous blood, while cultured primary rat cortical neurons were exposed to oxyhemoglobin (OxyHb) to mimic ICH in vitro. To examine the role of miRNA-144-3p in ICH-induced SBI, we used an miRNA-144-3p mimic and inhibitor both in vivo and in vitro. Following ICH induction, we found miRNA-144-3p expression to increase. Additionally, we predicted the formyl peptide receptor 2 (FPR2) to be a potential miRNA-144-3p target, which we validated experimentally, with FPR2 expression downregulated when miRNA-144-3p was upregulated. Furthermore, elevated miRNA-144-3p levels aggravated brain edema and neurobehavioral disorders and induced neuronal apoptosis via the downregulation of FPR2 both in vivo and in vitro. We suspected that these beneficial effects provided by FPR2 were associated with the PI3K/AKT pathway. We validated this finding by overexpressing FPR2 while inhibiting PI3K/AKT in vitro and in vivo. In conclusion, miRNA-144-3p aggravated ICH-induced SBI by targeting and downregulating FPR2, thereby contributing to neurological dysfunction and neural apoptosis via PI3K/AKT pathway activation. These findings suggest that inhibiting miRNA-144-3p may offer an effective approach to attenuating brain damage incurred after ICH and a potential therapy to improve ICH-induced SBI.
Keywords: apoptosis; formyl peptide receptor 2; intracerebral hemorrhage; microRNA-144-3p.