miR-190a-5p expression alters dynamically in response to hypoxia. However, the role of miR-190a-5p expression in hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension (PH) remains unclear. We sought to correlate the miR-190a-5p expression levels with the severity, diagnosis, and prognosis of PH in relation to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD-PH). Additionally, we evaluated the effect of miR-190a-5p through in vitro experiments on human pulmonary endothelial cells (HPECs) that were exposed to hypoxia and in vivo experiments using an animal model of hypoxia-induced PH.
Circulating miR-190a-5p levels were measured from 73 patients with PH and 32 healthy controls through quantitative real-time PCR. The levels of miR-190a-5p and the expression of Krüppel-like factor 15 (KLF15) were analyzed in HPECs that were exposed to hypoxia, and the effects of antagomir-190a-5p in mice with chronic hypoxia-induced PH were tested. Target gene analysis was performed by Western blot and luciferase assay.
The miR-190a-5p level was significantly higher in patients with COPD-PH than in the healthy controls. Higher miR-190a-5p levels were associated with a greater severity of COPD-PH. In vitro experiments on HPECs showed that exposure to hypoxia increased the miR-190a-5p levels significantly. KLF15 was validated as a target of miR-190a-5p. Transfection with miR-190a-5p mimicked inhibition of KLF15 expression in HPECs. In the mouse model of PH, antagomir-190a-5p reduced right ventricular systolic pressure and enhanced the KLF15 expression levels in lung tissue.