Koval ED, Shaner C, Zhang P, du Maine X, Fischer K, Tay J, Chau BN, Wu GF, Miller TM.
Method for widespread microRNA-155 inhibition prolongs survival in ALS-model mice.
Hum Mol Genet. 2013 Jun 19;
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The authors of this interesting report have nicely demonstrated a new method of inhibiting micro RNAs (miRNAs) in vivo in a mouse model of ALS. Essentially, they have utilized oligonucleotides as miRNA inhibitors. By targeting one such miRNA, miRNA-155, they demonstrate improvement in their ALS mouse model, about a 10-day prolonged survival.
From a neuroinflammation perspective, what I find most intriguing is that miRNA-155 is avidly taken up by microglia and astrocytes. While the authors do not further investigate a putative mechanism to account for this, it would be interesting to determine if an active process is at work here (e.g., fluid-phase pinocytosis) or whether some form of glial-neuronal interaction is taking place. Nonetheless, this work raises our awareness of the therapeutic potential of blocking miRNAs for neurodegenerative disease.