OBJECTIVE: Cerebral aneurysm (CA) is an important acquired cerebrovascular disease that can cause catastrophic results. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs, playing essential roles in modulating basic physiologic and pathological processes. Currently, evidences have been established about biologic relationship between miRNAs and abdominal aortic aneurysms. However, biologic roles of miRNAs in CA formation have not been explained yet. We employed microarray analysis to detect and compare miRNA expression profiles in late stage of CA in rat model. METHODS: Twenty-six, 7-week-old male Sprague-Dawley rats underwent a CA induction procedure. The control animals (n=11) were fed a normal diet, and the experimental animals (n=26) were fed a normal diet with 1% normal saline for 3 months. Then, the rats were sacrificed, their cerebral arteries were dissected, and the five regions of aneurysmal dilation on the left posterior communicating artery were cut for miRNA microarrays analysis. Six miRNAs (miRNA-1, miRNA-223, miRNA-24-1-5p, miRNA-551b, miRNA-433, and miRNA-489) were randomly chosen for validation using real-time quantitative PCR. RESULTS: Among a set of differentially expressed miRNAs, 14 miRNAs were over-expressed more than 200% and 6 miRNAs were down-expressed lower than 50% in the CA tissues. CONCLUSION: The results show that miRNAs might take part in CA formation probably by affecting multiple target genes and signaling pathways. Further investigations to identify the exact roles of these miRNAs in CA formation are required.