miR-125a-5p attenuates macrophage-mediated vascular dysfunction by targeting Ninjurin1

Su Jung Hwang, Bum Ju Ahn, Min Wook Shin, Ye Seul Song, Youngbin Choi, Goo Taeg Oh, Kyu Won Kim, Hyo Jong Lee

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23 Scopus citations


Ninjurin1 (Ninj1), an adhesion molecule, regulates macrophage function in hyaloid regression, multiple sclerosis, and atherosclerosis. However, its biological relevance and the mechanism underlying its function in vascular network integrity have not been studied. In this study, we investigated the role of Ninj1 in physiological (postnatal vessel formation) and pathological (endotoxin-mediated inflammation and diabetes) conditions and developed a strategy to regulate Ninj1 using specific micro (mi)RNAs under pathological conditions. Ninj1-deficient mice exhibited decreased hyaloid regression, tip cell formation, retinal vascularized area, recruitment of macrophages, and endothelial apoptosis during postnatal development, resulting in delayed formation of the vascular network. Five putative miRNAs targeting Ninj1 were selected using the miRanda algorithm and comparison of expression patterns. Among them, miR-125a-5p showed a profound inhibitory effect on Ninj1 expression, and miR-125a-5p mimic suppressed the cell-to-cell and cell-to-matrix adhesion of macrophages and expression of pro-inflammatory factors mediated by Ninj1. Furthermore, miR-125a-5p mimic inhibited the recruitment of macrophages into inflamed retinas in endotoxin-induced inflammation and streptozotocin-induced diabetes in vivo. In particular, miR-125a-5p mimic significantly attenuated vascular leakage in diabetic retinopathy. Taken together, these findings suggest that Ninj1 plays a pivotal role in macrophage-mediated vascular integrity and that miR-125a-5p acts as a novel regulator of Ninj1 in the management of inflammatory diseases and diabetic retinopathy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1199-1210
Number of pages12
JournalCell Death and Differentiation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022

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