Genome-wide microRNA profiling in brain and blood samples in a mouse model of epileptogenesis

Epilepsy Res. 2020 Oct:166:106400. doi: 10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2020.106400. Epub 2020 Jun 16.


Objectives: This study profiled circulating and hippocampal microRNAs (miRNAs) to identify alterations associated with the risk of epileptogenesis in a mouse temporal lobe epilepsy model.

Methods: Next-generation sequencing was performed to examine the changes in miRNA expression 24 h after pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus (SE) in C57BL/6NCrl mice using both blood and hippocampus samples. Differentially expressed miRNAs were identified from SE animals and matched controls that failed to develop SE after receiving equal doses of pilocarpine (NS animals). Blood and brain miRNA profiles were then compared to identify circulating miRNA alterations reflecting the changes in the brain.

Results: We identified 3 miRNAs that were significantly up-regulated and 4 miRNAs that were significantly down-regulated in the blood of SE animals compared with NS animals. When hippocampal miRNAs of SE animals and NS animals were compared, 5 miRNAs were up-regulated and 4 were down-regulated. Of these, miR-434-3p and miR-133a-3p were observed to have greatest changes in both blood and brain of SE animals.

Significance: This study extends current knowledge of changes in miRNAs associated with epileptogenesis by profiling miRNAs in SE and NS animals in an experimental temporal lobe epilepsy model. The study was designed to allow non-specific changes due to the activation of muscarinic cholinergic receptors in peripheral organs by pilocarpine to be ruled out. Significantly altered circulating miRNAs that reflect changes in the brain during epileptogenesis after SE have the potential to be developed as prognostic biomarkers for epileptogenesis.

Keywords: Circulating biomarker; Epileptogenesis; Temporal lobe epilepsy; microRNAs.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / chemically induced
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / genetics*
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / physiopathology*
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods*
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing / methods
  • Hippocampus / drug effects
  • Hippocampus / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Pilocarpine / toxicity


  • MicroRNAs
  • Pilocarpine