Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 366, Issue 3, pp 733–746 | Cite as

MicroRNA-34b/c inhibits aldosterone-induced vascular smooth muscle cell calcification via a SATB2/Runx2 pathway

  • Jianbing Hao
  • Lei Zhang
  • Guangting Cong
  • Liansheng Ren
  • Lirong HaoEmail author
Regular Article


Increasing evidence shows that aldosterone and specific microRNAs (miRs) contribute to vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) calcification. In this study, we aim to explore the mechanistic links between miR-34b/c and aldosterone in VSMC calcification. VSMC calcification models were established both in vitro and in vivo. First, the levels of aldosterone, miR-34b/c and special AT-rich sequence-binding protein 2 (SATB2) were measured. Then, miR-34b/c mimics or inhibitors were transfected into VSMCs to evaluate the function of miR-34b/c. Luciferase reporter assays were used to demonstrate whether SATB2 was a direct target of miR-34b/c. Aldosterone and SATB2 were found to be markedly upregulated during VSMC calcification, whereas miR-34b/c expression was downregulated. Treatment with the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) antagonist eplerenone inhibited VSMC calcification. In aldosterone-induced VSMC calcification, miR-34b/c levels were downregulated and SATB2 protein was upregulated. Furthermore, miR-34b/c overexpression alleviated aldosterone-induced VSMC calcification as well as inhibited the expression of SATB2 protein, whereas miR-34b/c inhibition markedly enhanced VSMC calcification and upregulated SATB2 protein. In addition, luciferase reporter assays showed that SATB2 is a direct target of miR-34b/c in VSMCs. Overexpression of SATB2 induced Runx2 overproduction and VSMC calcification. Therefore, miR-34b/c participates in aldosterone-induced VSMC calcification via a SATB2/Runx2 pathway. As miR-34b/c appears to be a negative regulator, it has potential as a therapeutic target of VSMC calcification.


miR-34b/c Aldosterone Vascular smooth muscle cell Vascular calcification SATB2 



Our studies were performed in the State Key Laboratory of Veterinary Biotechnology, Harbin Veterinary Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

None declared.


This work was supported by the China Doctoral Fund project of the Education Ministry (20122307110011), the Chinese Hospital Association project (CHABP201623) and the First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University (2016Y004).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jianbing Hao
    • 1
  • Lei Zhang
    • 1
  • Guangting Cong
    • 1
  • Liansheng Ren
    • 1
  • Lirong Hao
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Nephropathy and HemodialysisThe First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical UniversityHarbinPeople’s Republic of China

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