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Identification of MicroRNA–Potassium Channel Messenger RNA Interactions in the Brain of Rats With Post-traumatic Epilepsy

  • Li, Zheng1, 2
  • Ma, Yixun1, 2
  • Zhou, Fengjuan1, 2
  • Jia, Xiao1, 2
  • Zhan, Jingjing1, 2
  • Tan, Huachao1, 2
  • Wang, Xu1, 2
  • Yang, Tiantong1, 2
  • Liu, Quan3
  • 1 Key Laboratory of Evidence Science, Institute of Evidence Law and Forensic Science, China University of Political Science and Law, Ministry of Education, Beijing , (China)
  • 2 Collaborative Innovation Center of Judicial Civilization, Beijing , (China)
  • 3 Hubei University of Police, Wuhan , (China)
Published Article
Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
Feb 01, 2021
DOI: 10.3389/fnmol.2020.610090
PMID: 33597846
PMCID: PMC7882489
PubMed Central


Background: Dysregulated expression of microRNAs and potassium channels have been reported for their contributions to seizure onset. However, the microRNA–potassium channel gene interactions in traumatic brain injury-induced post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE) remain unknown. Methods: PTE was induced in male rats by intracranial injection with ferrous chloride (0.1 mol/L, 1 μl/min) at the right frontal cortex. Electroencephalography was recorded at 60 min, as well as day 1, 7, and 30, and the behavioral seizures were assessed before injection and at different time points after injection. Rats were killed on day 30 after injection. The right frontal cortex samples were collected and subjected to high throughput messenger RNA (mRNA) and microRNA sequencing. A network of differentially expressed potassium channel mRNAs and microRNAs was constructed using OryCun2.0 and subjected to Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes analyses. The differential mRNA and microRNA expressions were verified using quantitative real-time-PCR. The microRNA–mRNA was subject to the Pearson correlation analysis. Results: A PTE rat model was successfully established, as evidenced by behavioral seizures and epileptiform discharges on electroencephalography in PTE rats compared with sham rats. Among the 91 mRNAs and 40 microRNAs that were significantly differentially expressed in the PTE rat brain, 4 mRNAs and 10 microRNAs were associated with potassium channels. Except for potassium calcium-activated channel subfamily N member 2, the other three potassium channel mRNAs were negatively correlated with seven microRNAs. These microRNA–mRNA pairs were enriched in annotations and pathways related to neuronal ion channels and neuroinflammation. Quantitative real-time-PCR and correlation analysis verified negative correlations in miR-449a-5p-KCNH2, miR-98-5p-KCNH2, miR-98-5p-KCNK15, miR-19b-3p-KCNK15, and miR-301a-3p-KCNK15 pairs. Conclusion: We identified microRNA–potassium channel mRNA interactions associated with PTE, providing potential diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets for PTE.

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