Exp Neurobiol.  2021 Apr;30(2):170-182. 10.5607/en20046.

Upregulation of miR-20b Protects Against Cerebral Ischemic Stroke by Targeting Thioredoxin Interacting Protein (TXNIP)

  • 1Department of Neurology, the Third Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang 330008, PR. China
  • 2Department of Neurology, the Fifth Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai 519000, PR. China


Dysregulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) is involved in abnormal development and pathophysiology in the brain. Although miR-20b plays essential roles in various human diseases, its function in cerebral ischemic stroke remains unclear. A cell model of oxygen glucose deprivation/reoxygenation (OGD/R) and A rat model of middle cerebral artery occlusion/reperfusion (MCAO/R) were constructed. qRT-PCR and western blot were used to evaluate the expression of miR-20b and TXNIP. Cell viability was detected by MTT assay, and cell apoptosis was evaluated by flow cytometry. Targetscan and Starbase were used to predict the potential targets of miR-20b. Luciferase reporter assay was applied to determine the interaction between miR-20b and TXNIP. Rescue experiments were conducted to confirm the functions of miR-20b/TXNIP axis in cerebral ischemic stroke. MiR-20b was significantly downregulated after I/R both in vitro and in vivo. Upregulation of miR-20b inhibited OGD/R-induced neurons apoptosis and attenuated ischemic brain injury in rat model. Bioinformatic prediction suggested that TXNIP might be a target of miR-20b, and luciferase reporter assay revealed that miR-20b negatively regulated TXNIP expression by directly binding to the 3’-UTR of TXNIP. Downregulation of TXNIP inhibited OGD/R-induced neurons apoptosis in vitro and ischemic brain injury in vivo. Rescue experiments indicated that downregulation of TXNIP effectively reversed the effect of miR-20b inhibitor in neurons apoptosis after OGD/R-treatment and ischemic brain injury in a mouse model after MCAO/R-treatment. Our study demonstrated that upregulation of miR-20b protected the brain from ischemic brain injury by targeting TXNIP, extending our understanding of miRNAs in cerebral ischemic stroke.


Cerebral ischemic stroke; miR-20b; TXNIP; Apoptosis; Ischemic brain injury
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