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Evidence suggests the presence of microglial activation and microRNA (miRNA) dysregulation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the most common form of adult motor neuron disease. However, few studies have investigated whether the miRNA dysregulation originates from microglia. Furthermore, TDP-43 (encoded by TARDBP), involved in miRNA biogenesis, aggregates in tissues of ∼98% of ALS cases. Thus, this study aimed to determine whether expression of the ALS-linked TDP-43M337V mutation in a transgenic mouse model dysregulates microglia-derived miRNAs. RNA sequencing identified several dysregulated miRNAs released by transgenic microglia and a differential miRNA release by lipopolysaccharide-stimulated microglia, which was more pronounced in cells from female mice. We validated the downregulation of three candidate miRNAs, namely, miR-16-5p, miR-99a-5p and miR-191-5p, by reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and identified their predicted targets, which primarily include genes involved in neuronal development and function. These results suggest that altered TDP-43 function leads to changes in the miRNA population released by microglia, which may in turn be a source of the miRNA dysregulation observed in the disease. This has important implications for the role of neuroinflammation in ALS pathology and could provide potential therapeutic targets.

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Journal article


Dis Model Mech

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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, MicroRNA, Microglia, Motor neuron disease, TDP-43, Microglia, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, MicroRNAs, Animals, Female, Mice, Transgenic, Male, Mutation, Sex Characteristics, DNA-Binding Proteins, Mice, Extracellular Space, Humans, Lipopolysaccharides, Gene Expression Regulation