Journal of Medical Ultrasonics

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 207–216 | Cite as

Ultrasound stimulation induces microRNA expression changes that could be involved in sonication-induced apoptosis

  • Ryohei OgawaEmail author
  • Akihiro Morii
  • Akihiko Watanabe
Original Article



The purpose of this study is to investigate the involvement of microRNAs (miRNAs) in sonication-induced apoptosis.


U937 cells derived from human leukemia were sonicated with 1-MHz ultrasound at 0.4 W/cm2 and 10 % duty factor for 60 s, a condition inducing apoptosis. The total RNA was extracted from cells at various timings after sonication and subjected to microarray and real-time PCR for miRNA expression analyses.


Expression of several miRNAs was significantly affected by sonication. For miR-424* and miR-720, whose expressions were eminently decreased by sonication, cell lines overexpressing these miRNAs were established. Conversely, for miR-663B and miR-663, whose expressions were eminently increased by sonication, cell lines inhibiting these miRNA functions were established. When these cell lines were sonicated, a cell line inhibiting miR-663B function significantly increased sonication-induced apoptosis, suggesting this may be involved in cellular responses to sonication. Two genes that could induce apoptosis, KSR2 and CREBZF, were identified as potential target genes of miR-663B since potential target sequences on their 3′ UTR mediated to decrease expression of a reporter gene.


These results suggest that miRNAs may be involved in cellular responses to ultrasound through their expression changes caused by sonication.


MicroRNA Apoptosis Microarray Expression 



This research was supported by the Research and Development Committee Program of The Japan Society of Ultrasonics in Medicine. The authors thank Drs. Loreto B. Feril, Jr., and Go Kagiya for their critical reading of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© The Japan Society of Ultrasonics in Medicine 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Radiological Sciences, Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences for ResearchUniversity of ToyamaToyamaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Urology, Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences for ResearchUniversity of ToyamaToyamaJapan

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