Acupuncture attenuates cognitive impairments in vascular dementia through inhibiting miR-143-3p
Background: Acupuncture can be used to treat vascular dementia (VD), but the underlying mechanism remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate the expression and clinical significance of microRNA-143-3p (miR-143-3p) in VD patients and explore whether acupuncture ameliorates VD by regulating miR-143-3p. Methods: Cognitive function and daily living ability in VD patients were assessed by mini-mental state examination, Hasegawa’s dementia scale and activities of daily living scale, respectively. VD model of male Wistar rats was established using permanent bilateral common carotid artery occlusion. The expression level of miR-143-3p was measured by quantitative real-time PCR. Morris water maze test was used to assess the cognitive function of VD rat model. Receiver operating characteristic analysis was used to assess the diagnostic value of miR-143-3p in VD patients. Correlations between variables were analyzed by Pearson’s correlation analysis. Results: Increased serum miR-143-3p expression in VD patients had a high diagnostic value to screen VD patients. Serum miR-143-3p level in VD patients after acupuncture treatment was decreased. After acupuncture treatment, serum miR-143-3p was negatively correlated with cognitive function and daily living ability in VD patients. miR-143-3p level was increased in VD rats, and the suppressive effects of acupuncture on miR-143-3p levels were relieved by miR-143-3p mimic. Overexpression of miR-143-3p reversed the ameliorative effect of acupuncture on cognitive functions of VD rats. Conclusion: Serum miR-143-3p expression is upregulated in VD patients and downregulated in VD patients after acupuncture treatment. Additionally, acupuncture treatment may attenuate cognitive impairments in VD by suppressing miR-143-3p.
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