Supplementary Material for: RNA-Seq Analyses of the Role of miR-21 in Acute Pancreatitis

Background/Aims: Our previous study demonstrated that a deficiency of microRNA 21 (miR-21) protects mice from acute pancreatitis, yet the underlying molecular networks associated with miR-21 in pancreatitis and pancreatitis-associated lung injury remain unexplored. Methods: We used next generation sequencing to analyze gene expression profiles of pancreatic tissues from wild-type (WT) and miR-21 knockout (KO) mice treated with caerulein by using a 1-day treatment protocol. The Database for Annotation, Visualization, and Integrated Discovery gene annotation tool and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis were used to analyze the molecular pathways, while quantitative real-time PCR, western blotting, and immunohistochemistry were used to explore the molecular mechanisms. Results: We identified 152 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in pancreata between WT and KO mice treated with caerulein. Cellular biogenesis and metabolism were the major pathways affected between WT and KO mice, whereas cell death and inflammatory response discriminated between WT and KO mice under acute pancreatitis. We validated 16 DEGs, consisting of 6 upregulated genes and 10 downregulated genes, involved in pancreatic injury. In particular, the upregulation of Pias3 and downregulation of Hmgb1 in KO pancreata coincided with a reduced severity of pancreatitis. In addition, we found Hmgb1 stimulation resulted in the overexpression of miR-21 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and deletion of miR-21 led to a reduction of caerulein-induced acute pancreatitis-associated lung injury by repressing Hmgb1 expression. Conclusion: Our data support the hypothesis that miR-21 modulates the inflammatory response during acute pancreatitis through the upregulation of Pias3 and downregulation of Hmgb1. Our findings further underscore a role for miR-21 in the promotion of acute pancreatitis.