MicroRNA-based therapeutics in central nervous system injuries

Ping Sun, Da Zhi Liu, Glen Clifford Jickling, Frank R. Sharp, Ke Jie Yin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Central nervous system (CNS) injuries, such as stroke, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and spinal cord injury (SCI), are important causes of death and long-term disability worldwide. MicroRNA (miRNA), small non-coding RNA molecules that negatively regulate gene expression, can serve as diagnostic biomarkers and are emerging as novel therapeutic targets for CNS injuries. MiRNA-based therapeutics include miRNA mimics and inhibitors (antagomiRs) to respectively decrease and increase the expression of target genes. In this review, we summarize current miRNA-based therapeutic applications in stroke, TBI and SCI. Administration methods, time windows and dosage for effective delivery of miRNA-based drugs into CNS are discussed. The underlying mechanisms of miRNA-based therapeutics are reviewed including oxidative stress, inflammation, apoptosis, blood–brain barrier protection, angiogenesis and neurogenesis. Pharmacological agents that protect against CNS injuries by targeting specific miRNAs are presented along with the challenges and therapeutic potential of miRNA-based therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


  • microRNA inhibitors
  • MicroRNA mimics
  • spinal cord injury
  • stroke
  • traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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