Axotomy-induced miR-21 promotes axon growth in adult dorsal root ganglion neurons

IT Strickland, FE Holmes, LJ Richards, D Wynick, JB Uney, LF Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

130 Citations (Scopus)


Following injury, dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons undergo transcriptional changes so as to adopt phenotypic changes that promote cell survival and axonal regeneration. Here we used a microarray approach to profile changes in a population of small noncoding RNAs known as microRNAs (miRNAs) in the L4 and L5 DRG following sciatic nerve transection. Results showed that 20 miRNA transcripts displayed a significant change in expression levels, with 8 miRNAs transcripts being altered by more than 1.5-fold. Using quantitative reverse transcription PCR, we demonstrated that one of these miRNAs, miR-21, was upregulated by 7-fold in the DRG at 7 days post-axotomy. In dissociated adult rat DRG neurons lentiviral vector-mediated overexpression of miR-21 promoted neurite outgrowth on a reduced laminin substrate. miR-21 directly downregulated expression of Sprouty2 protein, as confirmed by Western blot analysis and 3′ untranslated region (UTR) luciferase assays. Our data show that miR-21 is an axotomy-induced miRNA that enhances axon growth, and suggest that miRNAs are important players in regulating growth pathways following peripheral nerve injury.
Translated title of the contributionAxotomy-induced miR-21 promotes axon growth in adult dorsal root ganglion neurons
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e23423 - e23423
Number of pages8
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2011


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    Ulcigrai, C.


    Project: Research

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