microRNA-132 is overexpressed in glia in temporal lobe epilepsy and reduces the expression of pro-epileptogenic factors in human cultured astrocytes

A. Korotkov, D.W.M. Broekaart, L. Banchaewa, B. Pustjens, J. van Scheppingen, J.J. Anink, J.C. Baayen, S. Idema, J.A. Gorter, E.A. van Vliet, E. Aronica

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Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is a chronic neurological disease in humans, which is refractory to pharmacological treatment in about 30% of the patients. Reactive glial cells are thought to play a major role during the development of epilepsy (epileptogenesis) via regulation of brain inflammation and remodeling of the extracellular matrix (ECM). These processes can be regulated by microRNAs (miRs), a class of small non-coding RNAs, which can control entire gene networks at a post-transcriptional level. The expression of miRs is known to change dynamically during epileptogenesis. miR-132 is one of the most commonly upregulated miRs in animal TLE models with important roles shown in neurons. However, the possible role of miR-132 in glia remains largely unknown. The aim of this study was to characterize the cell-type specific expression of miR-132 in the hippocampus of patients with TLE and during epileptogenesis in a rat TLE model. Furthermore, the potential role of miR-132 was investigated by transfection of human primary cultured astrocytes that were stimulated with the cytokines IL-1β or TGF-β1. We showed an increased expression of miR-132 in the human and rat epileptogenic hippocampus, particularly in glial cells. Transfection of miR-132 in human primary astrocytes reduced the expression of pro-epileptogenic COX-2, IL-1β, TGF-β2, CCL2, and MMP3. This suggests that miR-132, particularly in astrocytes, represents a potential therapeutic target that warrants further in vivo investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-75
Number of pages16
Issue number1
Early online date13 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • IL-1 beta
  • TGF-beta
  • epileptogenesis
  • miRNA
  • neuroinflammation

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