Effects of simulated microgravity on microRNA and mRNA expression profile of rat soleus

Hongjie Xu, Feng Wu, Hongqing Cao, Guanghan Kan, Hongyu Zhang, Wai Ella Yeung, Peng Shang, Zhongquan Dai, Yinghui Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Spaceflight induces muscle atrophy but mechanism is not well understood. Here, we quantified microRNAs (miRNAs) and mRNA shifts of rat soleus in response to microgravity. MiRNAs and mRNA microarray of soleus after tail suspension (TS) for 7 and 14 days were performed followed by target gene and function annotation analysis and qRT-PCR. Relative muscle mass lost by 37.0% in TS-7 but less than 10% in the following three weeks. TS altered 23 miRNAs and 1313 mRNAs with at least 2-fold. QRT-PCR confirmed some of these changes. MiR-214, miR-486-5p and miR-221 continuously decreased. MiR-674 and Let-7e decreased only in TS-7, while miR-320b and miR-187 decreased only in TS-14. But there was no alteration of miR-320 and miR-206 in both time point. For mRNA detection, actn3 (5.1-fold and 13.8-fold) and myh4 (38-fold and 51.6-fold) increased abundantly and a3galt2 decreased. Predicted targeted genes (whyz, ywhaz and SFRP2) of altered miRNAs decreased. GO terms and cellular pathway of these alteration showed enrichment in regulation of muscle metabolism. Integration analysis of the miRNA and mRNA expression profiles confirmed that eleven genes were differently regulated by four miRNAs. This is the first study that showed expression pattern and synergistical regulation of miRNA and mRNA in rat soleus of TS for up to 14 days.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-49
Number of pages10
JournalActa Astronautica
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Microarray
  • MicroRNAs
  • Simulated microgravity
  • Skeletal muscle atrophy
  • Tail suspension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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