|CircLphn3 protects the blood-brain barrier in traumatic brain injury.|
Cheng YQ, Wu CR, Du MR, Zhou Q, Wu BY, Fu JY, Balawi E, Tan WL, Liao ZB.
Neural regeneration research. 2022; 17(4): 812-818
Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are a new and large group of non-coding RNA molecules that are abundantly expressed in the central nervous system. However, very little is known about their roles in traumatic brain injury. In this study, we firstly screened differentially expressed circRNAs in normal and injured brain tissues of mice after traumatic brain injury. We found that the expression of circLphn3 was substantially decreased in mouse models of traumatic brain injury and in hemin-treated bEnd.3 (mouse brain cell line) cells. After overexpressing circLphn3 in bEnd.3 cells, the expression of the tight junction proteins, ZO-1, ZO-2, and occludin, was upregulated, and the expression of miR-185-5p was decreased. In bEnd.3 cells transfected with miR-185-5p mimics, the expression of ZO-1 was decreased. Dual-luciferase reporter assays showed that circLphn3 bound to miR-185-5p, and that miR-185-5p bound to ZO-1. Additionally, circLphn3 overexpression attenuated the hemin-induced high permeability of the in vitro bEnd.3 cell model of the blood-brain barrier, while miR-185-5p transfection increased the permeability. These findings suggest that circLphn3, as a molecular sponge of miR-185-5p, regulates tight junction proteins' expression after traumatic brain injury, and it thereby improves the permeability of the blood-brain barrier. This study was approved by the Animal Care and Use Committee of Chongqing Medical University of China (approval No. 2021-177) on March 22, 2021.