Background: Neuroinflammation has important effects on cognitive functions in the pathophysiological process of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In the current report, we determined the effects of microRNA-155 (miR-155) on the levels of IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α, and their respective receptors in the hippocampus using a rat model of AD.
Methods: Real time RT-PCR, ELISA and western blot analysis were used to examine the miR-155, PICs and PIC receptors. The Morris water maze and spatial working memory tests were used to assess cognitive functions.
Results: miR-155 was increased in the hippocampus of AD rats, accompanied with amplification of IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α. Intracerebroventricular infusion of miR-155 inhibitor, but not its scramble attenuated the increases of IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α and upregulation of their receptors. MiR-155 inhibitor also attenuated upregulation of apoptotic Caspase-3 in the hippocampus of AD rats. Notably, inhibition of miR-155 or PIC receptors largely recovered the impaired learning performance in AD rat.
Conclusion: We showed the critical role of miR-155 in regulating the memory impairment in AD rats likely via engagement of neuroinflammatory mechanisms, suggesting that miR-155 and its signaling molecules may present prospects in preventing and/or improving development of the impaired cognitive functions in AD.