Background: Increasing evidence has shown that microRNAs are involved in apoptosis in different cells. However, the role of miR-31 in atherosclerosis (AS) has never been elucidated. In the present study, we identified the impact of miR-31 on atherosclerosis in macrophages.
Methods: The level of miR-31 in macrophages was examined in apoE-/- mice. Cell viability and apoptosis were examined in macrophage cells transfected with miR-31 mimics, inhibitors or negative control. In addition, the impact of NOX4 on cell apoptosis was tested with a specific siRNA targeting NADPH oxidase 4 (NOX4).
Results: An enhanced level of miR-31 was found in macrophage cells of apoE-/- mice, suggesting that miR-31 might contribute to abnormal cell proliferation of macrophage cells. Upregulation of miR-31 decreased cell viability and induced macrophage cell apoptosis. Moreover, knockdown of NOX4 reduced cell migration capacity and enhanced cell apoptosis.
Conclusions: The current data suggested that miR-31 contributed to macrophage apoptosis by regulating the expression of NOX4.