Preconditioning is a paradigm in which sublethal stress–prior to a more injurious insult–induces protection against injury. In the central nervous system (CNS), preconditioning against ischemic stroke is induced by short durations of ischemia, brief seizures, exposure to anesthetics, and other stresses. Increasing evidence supports the contribution of microRNAs (miRNAs) to the pathogenesis of cerebral ischemia and ischemic tolerance induced by preconditioning. Studies investigating miRNA changes induced by preconditioning have to date identified 562 miRNAs that change expression levels after preconditioning, and 15% of these changes were reproduced in at least one additional study. Of miRNAs assessed as changed by preconditioning in more than one study, about 40% changed in the same direction in more than one study. Most of the studies to assess the role of specific miRNAs in the neuroprotective mechanism of preconditioning were performed in vitro, with fewer studies manipulating individual miRNAs in vivo. Thus, while many miRNAs change in response to preconditioning stimuli, the mechanisms underlying their effects are not well understood. The data does suggest that miRNAs may play significant roles in preconditioning-induced neuroprotection. This review focuses on the current state of knowledge of the possible role of miRNAs in preconditioning-induced cerebral protection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine