Genetic modification of miR-34a enhances efficacy of transplanted human dental pulp stem cells after ischemic stroke

Neural Regen Res. 2023 Sep;18(9):2029-2036. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.367831.


Human dental pulp stem cells (hDPSCs) promote recovery after ischemic stroke; however, the therapeutic efficacy is limited by the poor survival of transplanted cells. For in vitro experiments in the present study, we used oxygen-glucose deprivation/reoxygenation in hDPSCs to mimic cell damage induced by ischemia/reperfusion. We found that miRNA-34a-5p (miR-34a) was elevated under oxygen-glucose deprivation/reoxygenation conditions in hDPSCs. Inhibition of miR-34a facilitated the proliferation and antioxidant capacity and reduced the apoptosis of hDPSCs. Moreover, dual-luciferase reporter gene assay showed WNT1 and SIRT1 as the targets of miR-34a. In miR-34a knockdown cell lines, WNT1 suppression reduced cell proliferation, and SIRT1 suppression decreased the antioxidant capacity. Together, these results indicated that miR-34a regulates cell proliferation and antioxidant stress via targeting WNT1 and SIRT1, respectively. For in vivo experiments, we injected genetically modified hDPSCs (anti34a-hDPSCs) into the brains of mice. We found that anti34a-hDPSCs significantly inhibited apoptosis, reduced cerebral edema and cerebral infarct volume, and improved motor function in mice. This study provides new insights into the molecular mechanism of the cell proliferation and antioxidant capacity of hDPSCs, and suggests a potential gene that can be targeted to improve the survival rate and efficacy of transplanted hDPSCs in brain after ischemic stroke.

Keywords: HO-1; Nrf2; SIRT1; WNT1; antioxidant capacity; human dental pulp stem cells; ischemic stroke; miR-34a; proliferation; β-catenin.