Recombinant adeno-associated virus-mediated inhibition of microRNA-21 protects mice against the lethal schistosome infection by repressing both IL-13 and transforming growth factor beta 1 pathways

UMMS Affiliation

Gene Therapy Center; Department of Microbiology and Physiological Systems

Publication Date


Document Type



Adenoviridae; Animals; Down-Regulation; Hepatic Stellate Cells; Interleukin-13; Liver Diseases, Parasitic; Male; Mice, Inbred BALB C; MicroRNAs; Schistosomiasis; Smad7 Protein; Transforming Growth Factor beta1


Cellular and Molecular Physiology | Digestive System Diseases | Genetics and Genomics | Hepatology | Parasitic Diseases | Therapeutics | Translational Medical Research


Schistosomiasis is a serious parasitic disease in humans, which can lead to liver fibrosis and death. Accumulating evidence indicated that targeting the deregulated microRNAs (miRNAs) could mitigate disease outcomes. Here, we showed that progressive hepatic schistosomiasis caused elevation of miR-21 and efficient and sustained inhibition of miR-21 by using highly hepatic tropic adeno-associated virus serotype 8 (rAAV8), which protected mice against lethal schistosome infection through attenuation of hepatic fibrosis (HF). We demonstrated an additive role of interleukin (IL)-13 and transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-beta1) in up-regulating miR-21 expression in hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) by activation of mothers against decapentaplegic (SMAD) proteins. Furthermore, down-regulation of miR-21 in HSCs reversed HF by enhancing SMAD7 expression, thus repressing TGF-beta1/Smad and IL-13/Smad pathways. CONCLUSION: This study suggests the mechanism of IL-13-mediated schistosomiasis HF by up-regulation of miR-21 and highlights the potential of rAAV8-mediated miR-21 inhibition as a therapeutic intervention for hepatic fibrotic diseases, such as schistosomiasis.


UMCCTS funding

DOI of Published Version



Hepatology. 2015 Jun;61(6):2008-17. doi: 10.1002/hep.27671. Epub 2015 Apr 15. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.)

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID