Stem Cell Research & Therapy (Apr 2018)

Long noncoding RNA H19 upregulates vascular endothelial growth factor A to enhance mesenchymal stem cells survival and angiogenic capacity by inhibiting miR-199a-5p

  • Jingying Hou,
  • Lingyun Wang,
  • Quanhua Wu,
  • Guanghui Zheng,
  • Huibao Long,
  • Hao Wu,
  • Changqing Zhou,
  • Tianzhu Guo,
  • Tingting Zhong,
  • Lei Wang,
  • Xuxiang Chen,
  • Tong Wang

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 9, no. 1
pp. 1 – 12


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Abstract Background Currently, the overall therapeutic efficiency of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) transplantation for the treatment of cardiovascular disease is not satisfactory. The low viability and angiogenic capacity of the implanted cells in the local infarct tissues restrict their further application. Evidence shows that long noncoding RNA H19 (lncRNA-H19) mediates cell survival and angiogenesis. Additionally, it is also involved in MSCs biological activities. This study aimed to explore the functional role of lncRNA-H19 in MSCs survival and angiogenic capacity as well as the underlying mechanism. Methods MSCs were obtained from C57BL/6 mice and cultured in vitro. Cells at the third passage were divided into the following groups: MSCs+H19, MSCs+H19 NC, MSCs+si-H19, MSCs+si-H19 NC and MSCs. The MSCs+H19 and MSCs+H19 NC groups were transfected with lncRNA-H19 and lncRNA-H19 scramble RNA respectively. The MSCs+si-H19 and MSCs+si-H19 NC groups were transfected with lncRNA-H19 siRNA and lncRNA-H19 siRNA scramble respectively. MSCs were used as the blank control. All groups were exposed to normoxia (20% O2) and hypoxia (1% O2)/serum deprivation (H/SD) conditions for 24 h. Cell proliferation, apoptosis and vascular densities were assessed. Bioinformatics and dual luciferase reporter assay were performed. Relevant biomarkers were detected in different experimental groups. Results Overexpression of lncRNA-H19 improved survival and angiogenic capacity of MSCs under both normoxia and H/SD conditions, whereas its knockdown impaired cell viability and their angiogenic potential. MicroRNA-199a-5p (miR-199a-5p) targeted and downregulated vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA). MiR-199a-5p was a target of lncRNA-H19. LncRNA-H19 transfection led to a decreased level of miR-199a-5p, accompanied with an elevated expression of VEGFA. However, both miR-199a-5p and VEGFA presented inverse alterations in the condition of lncRNA-H19 knockdown. Conclusions LncRNA-H19 enhanced MSCs survival and their angiogenic potential in vitro. It could directly upregulate VEGFA expression by inhibiting miR-199a-5p as a competing endogenous RNA. This mechanism contributes to a better understanding of MSCs biological activities and provides new insights for cell therapy based on MSCs transplantation.