Depression is a neuropsychiatric disease associated with neuronal anomalies within specific brain regions. In the present study, we screened microRNA (miRNA) expression profiles in the dentate gyrus (DG) of hippocampus and found miR-26a-3p was markedly down-regulated in the rat model of depression, whereas up-regulation of miR-26a-3p within DG regions rescued the neuronal deterioration and depression-like phenotypes resulting from stress exposure, effects which appear to be mediated by the PTEN pathway. The knock-down of miR-26a-3p in DG regions of normal control rats induced depression-like behaviors, effects which were accompanied with an activation of PTEN-PI3K/Akt signaling pathway and neuronal deterioration via suppression of autophagy, impairments in synaptic plasticity and the promotion of neuronal apoptosis. In conclusion, these results suggested that a miR-26a-3p deficits within the hippocampal DG mediated the neuronal anomalies contributing to the display of depression-like behaviors. This miRNA may serve as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of depression.
Ye Li, Cuiqin Fan, Liyan Wang, Tian Lan, Rui Gao, Wenjing Wang, Shu Yan Yu