Supplementary Material for: Circular RNA Expression in the Brain of a Neonatal Rat Model of Periventricular White Matter Damage

<b><i>Background/Aims:</i></b> Periventricular white matter damage (PWMD) is the predominant neurologic lesion in preterm infants who survive brain injury. In this study, we assessed the global changes in and characteristics of the transcriptome of circular RNAs (circRNAs) in the brain tissues of rats with PWMD. <b><i>Methods:</i></b> We compared the expression profiles of circRNAs in brain samples from three rats with PWMD and three paired control tissues using deep RNA sequencing. Bioinformatics analysis was applied to investigate these differentially expressed circRNAs, and quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis was performed to confirm the results. Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) analyses were performed to predict associated cell signaling pathways and functions. Network analysis was performed to predict circRNAs-microRNAs, and target genes related to PWMD. <b><i>Results:</i></b> A total of 2151 more reliable circRNAs were dysregulated in the brain tissues of rats with PWMD, indicating a potential role in the condition. Of the 98 circRNAs significantly differentially expressed in rat brains with PWMD (<i>P</i>< 0.05), 52 were significantly over-expressed and 46 were significantly under-expressed. The expression profiles of seven of 10 randomly selected circRNAs were confirmed by qRT-PCR analysis. The glutamatergic synapse pathway and the VEGF signaling pathway, both associated with hypoxia/ischemia induced brain damage, were inriched. Relationship between miRNA (rno-miR-433-3p and rno-miR-206-3p) and HIF-1α were evident and potential associations between chr6: 48820833|48857932 and their target genes (rno-miR-433-3p and rno-miR-206-3p) were identified. <b><i>Conclusion:</i></b> The distinct expression patterns of circRNAs in the brain tissues of rats with PWMD suggest that circRNAs actively respond to hypoxia-ischemia. These findings could assist the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic targets for PWMD therapy.