Background: The human amnion plays a pivotal role in parturition. Two of its compartments, the placental amnion and the reflected amnion, have distinct transcriptome and are functionally coordinated for parturition. This study was conducted to determine the microRNA (miRNA) expression pattern and its significance in the placental amnion and the reflected amnion in association with labor at term. Methodology/Principal Findings: MicroRNA microarray, real-time quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR), and miRNA in situ hybridization analyses of the placental amnion and the reflected amnion (n = 20) obtained at term were conducted. Luciferase assay, transfection, and qRT-PCR analyses of primary amnion epithelial cells (AECs) and amnion mesenchymal cells (AMCs) were performed. MicroRNA microarray analysis demonstrated differential expression of 32 miRNAs between the placental amnion and the reflected amnion after labor. Thirty-one (97%) miRNAs, which included miR-143 and miR-145, a cardiovascular-specific miRNA cluster, were down-regulated in the reflected amnion. Analyses of miR-143 and miR-145 by qRT-PCR confirmed microarray results, and further demonstrated their decreased expression in the reflected amnion with labor. Interestingly, expression of miR-143 and miR-145 was higher in AMCs than in AECs (p<0.05). Luciferase assay and transfection confirmed miR-143 binding to 3′ UTR of prostaglandin-endoperoxidase synthase 2 (PTGS2) mRNA and miR-143 regulation of PTGS2 in AMCs. Conclusions: We report region-specific amniotic microRNAome and miR-143 regulation of PTGS2 in the context of human labor at term for the first time. The findings indicate that miRNA-mediated post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression machinery in the amnion plays an important role in the compartments (placental amnion vs reflected amnion) and in a cell type-specific manner (AECs vs AMCs) for parturition.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)