MicroRNA-140-5p ameliorates the high glucose-induced apoptosis and inflammation through suppressing TLR4/ NF-κB signaling pathway in human renal tubular epithelial cells

Jie Su, Jian Ren, Haiyan Chen, Bo Liu
Bioscience Reports 2020 February 19
Hyperglycemia-induced renal tubular cell injury is thought to play a critical role in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy (DN). However, the role of miRNAs in renal tubular cell injury remains to be fully elucidated. The aim of this study was to investigate the role and mechanisms of miRNAs protecting against high glucose (HG)-induced apoptosis and inflammation in renal tubular cells. Firstly, we analyzed microRNA expression profiles in kidney tissues from DN patients using miRNA microarray. It was observed that miR-140-5p was significantly downregulated in DN kidney tissues. An inverse correlation between miR-140-5p expression levels with serum proteinuria was observed in DN patients, suggesting miR-140-5p may be involved in the progression of DN. High glucose induced injury in HK-2 cells was used to explore the potential role of miR-140-5p in DN. We found that miR-140-5p overexpression improved HG-induced cell injury, as evidenced by the enhancement of cell viability, and inhibition of the activity of caspase-3 and ROS generation. It was also observed that upregulation of miR-140-5p suppressed HG-induced pro‑inflammatory cytokines, such as TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 in HK-2 cells. In addition, TLR4, one of the upstream molecules of NF-κB signaling pathway, was found to be a direct target of miR-140-5p in the HK-2. Moreover, the HG-induced activation of NF-κB signaling pathway was inhibited by miR-140-5p overexpression. These results indicated that miR-140-5p protected HK-2 cells against HG-induced injury through blocking the TLR4/NF-κB pathway, and miR-140-5p may be considered as a potential prognostic biomarker and therapeutic target in the treatment of DN.

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