Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is a devastating type of stroke with high mortality, and the effective therapies for ICH remain to be explored. Exosomes (Exos) have been found to play important roles in cell communication by transferring molecules, including microRNAs (miRNAs/miRs). MiRNAs are critical regulators of genes involved in many various biological processes and have been demonstrated to aggravate or alleviate brain damages induced by ICH. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of Exos derived from miR-146a-5p-enriched bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs-miR-146a-5p-Exos) on experimental ICH.
ICH was induced in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats by an intrastriatal injection of collagenase type IV. At 24 h after surgery, Exos were administrated. For detecting apoptotic cells, TUNEL staining was performed using an in situ Cell Death Detection Kit. Fluoro-Jade B staining was performed to detect degenerating neurons. Immunofluorescence assay was performed to detect the expression of myeloperoxidase (MPO) and OX-42. The binding of miR-146a-5p and its target genes was confirmed by luciferase reporter assay.
At 24 h after surgery, BMSCs-miR-146a-5p-Exos administration significantly improved neurological function, reduced apoptotic and degenerative neurons, and inhibited inflammatory response. Furthermore, miR-146a-5p-enriched Exos obviously inhibited the M1 polarization of microglia after ICH in rats, accompanied by the reduced expression of pro-inflammatory mediators releasing by M1 microglia including inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1). Finally, we observed that miR-146a-5p directly targeted interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase1 (IRAK1) and nuclear factor of activated T cells 5 (NFAT5), which contributed to the inflammation response and the polarization of M1 microglia/macrophages.