Renal tubulointerstitial fibrosis is the common end point of progressive renal disease.MicroRNA (miR)-214 and miR-21 are upregulated in models of renal injury, but the function of miR-214 in this setting and the effect of itsmanipulation remain unknown.We assessed the effect of inhibitingmiR-214 in an animalmodel of renal fibrosis. Inmice, genetic deletion ofmiR-214 significantly attenuated interstitial fibrosis induced by unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO). Treatment of wild-type mice with an anti-miR directed against miR-214 (anti-miR-214) before UUO resulted in similar antifibrotic effects, and in vivo biodistribution studies demonstrated that anti-miR-214 accumulated at the highest levels in the kidney. Notably, in vivo inhibition of canonical TGF-β signaling did not alter the regulation of endogenous miR-214 or miR-21.WhereasmiR-21 antagonism blocked Smad 2/3 activation, miR-214 antagonism did not, suggesting that miR-214 induces antifibrotic effects independent of Smad 2/3. Furthermore, TGF-β blockade combined with miR-214 deletion afforded additional renal protection. These phenotypic effects of miR-214 depletion were mediated through broad regulation of the transcriptional response to injury, as evidenced by microarray analysis. In human kidney tissue, miR-214 was detected in cells of the glomerulus and tubules as well as in infiltrating immune cells in diseased tissue. These studies demonstrate that miR-214 functions to promote fibrosis in renal injury independent of TGF-β signaling in vivo and that antagonism of miR-214 may represent a novel antifibrotic treatment in the kidney.
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