Distinct cognitive effects and underlying transcriptome changes upon inhibition of individual miRNAs in hippocampal neurons.

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Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNA) are small, non-coding RNAs mediating post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. miRNAs have recently been implicated in hippocampus-dependent functions such as learning and memory, although the roles of individual miRNAs in these processes remain largely unknown. Here, we achieved stable inhibition using AAV-delivered miRNA sponges of individual, highly expressed and brain-enriched miRNAs; miR-124, miR-9 and miR-34, in hippocampal neurons. Molecular and cognitive studies revealed a role for miR-124 in learning and memory. Inhibition of miR-124 resulted in an enhanced spatial learning and working memory capacity, potentially through altered levels of genes linked to synaptic plasticity and neuronal transmission. In contrast, inhibition of miR-9 or miR-34 led to a decreased capacity of spatial learning and of reference memory, respectively. On a molecular level, miR-9 inhibition resulted in altered expression of genes related to cell adhesion, endocytosis and cell death, while miR-34 inhibition caused transcriptome changes linked to neuroactive ligand-receptor transduction and cell communication. In summary, this study establishes distinct roles for individual miRNAs in hippocampal function.

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  • Neurosciences
Original languageEnglish
Article number19879
JournalScientific Reports
Volume6
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes