Skip to main content


Log in

Integrating miRNA and mRNA expression profiles in response to heat stress-induced injury in rat small intestine

  • Original Paper
  • Published:
Functional & Integrative Genomics Aims and scope Submit manuscript


The molecular mechanisms underlying the pathophysiology of heat stress in the small intestine remain undefined. Furthermore, little information is available concerning changes in microRNA (miRNA) expression following heat stress. The present study sought to evaluate miRNA and mRNA expression profiles in the rat small intestine in response to heat stress. Male Sprague–Dawley rats were subjected to 2 h of heat stress daily for ten consecutive days. Rats were sacrificed at specific time points immediately following heat treatment, and morphological changes in the small intestine were determined. The miRNA and mRNA expression profiles from sample of small intestine were evaluated by microarray analysis. Heat stress caused pronounced morphological damage in the rat small intestine, most severe within the jejunum after 3 days of heat treatment. A mRNA microarray analysis found 270 genes to be up-regulated and 122 genes down-regulated (P ≤ 0.01, ≥2.0-fold change) in the jejunum after heat treatment. A miRNA microarray analysis found 18 miRNAs to be up-regulated and 11 down-regulated in the jejunum after heat treatment (P ≤ 0.05). Subsequent bioinformatic analyses of the differentially expressed mRNAs and miRNAs were carried out to integrate miRNA and mRNA expression and revealed that alterations in mRNA following heat stress were negatively correlated with miRNA expression. These findings significantly advance our understanding of the regulatory mechanisms underlying the pathophysiology of heat stress-induced injury in the small intestine, specifically with regard to miRNAs.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3

Similar content being viewed by others


Download references


Thanks is extended to the members of CAU-BUA TCVM teaching and research team. This work was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.30771566), Funding Project for Academic Human Resources Development in Institutions of Higher Learning under the Jurisdiction of Beijing Municipality, Innovation Fund for Graduate Student of China Agricultural University (KYCX2010056), Beijing Natural Science Foundation (No.6082007), and the National Eleventh Five-Year Scientific and Technological Support Plan (No. 2008BADB4B01, 2008BADB4B07).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jianqin Xu.

Additional information

Fenghua Liu contributed equally to this work.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Fig. 1

Weight gain and feed intake. Weight gain of the heat stress group was lower than the control group. Feed intake of the heat treatment group decreased and was lowest on the fifth day; and then it increased gradually, finally recovered to the same level as the control group (DOC 112 kb)

Fig. 2

RNA quality control (DOC 66 kb)

Fig. 3

Image of mRNA microarray (DOC 507 kb)

Fig. 4

Image of microRNA microarray (DOC 148 kb)

Table 1

Molecular function analysis of the differentially expressed mRNAs (DOC 71 kb)

Table 2

Biological processes analysis of the differentially expressed mRNAs (DOC 59 kb)

Table 3

Cellular component analysis of the differentially expressed mRNAs (DOC 48 kb)

Table 4

Integrating the differentially expressed microRNA and their predicted mRNA targets (DOC 114 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Yu, J., Liu, F., Yin, P. et al. Integrating miRNA and mRNA expression profiles in response to heat stress-induced injury in rat small intestine. Funct Integr Genomics 11, 203–213 (2011).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: