The progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has been associated with astrocytes-induced neuroinflammation. However, the detailed mechanism of astrocytes associated with learning impairments and neuronal loss in AD is poorly defined. Here, we provide novel evidences that astrocytic miR-135a is critical for neuronal viability and spatial learning ability in vivo. The AppTg/Cebpd−/− mice showed a spatial learning improvement compared with the APPswe/PS1/E9 bigenic (AppTg) mice. miR-135a was found to be a CCAAT/enhancer binding protein δ (CEBPD) responsive miRNA and can repress the transcription of thrombospondin 1 (THBS1) / Thbs1 (mouse) via its 3′-untranslated region (3′UTR). We used different experimental approaches to attenuate the expression of CEBPD/Cebpd (mouse) or miR-135a in astrocytes and found the following results: increase in THBS1/Thbs1 expression, decrease in neuronal apoptosis, and increase in growth of neurites. Importantly, injection of miR-135a antagonist (AM135a) into the brain of AppTg mice was found to prevent neuronal apoptosis and improved the spatial learning ability. Together, our findings demonstrate a critical function for the astrocytic CEBPD, and point to miR-135a antagonist as an attractive therapeutic target for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
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