The Brain-Enriched MicroRNA miR-9-3p Regulates Synaptic Plasticity and Memory.J Neurosci. 2016 08 17; 36(33):8641-52.JN
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, noncoding RNAs that posttranscriptionally regulate gene expression in many tissues. Although a number of brain-enriched miRNAs have been identified, only a few specific miRNAs have been revealed as critical regulators of synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory. miR-9-5p/3p are brain-enriched miRNAs known to regulate development and their changes have been implicated in several neurological disorders, yet their role in mature neurons in mice is largely unknown. Here, we report that inhibition of miR-9-3p, but not miR-9-5p, impaired hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) without affecting basal synaptic transmission. Moreover, inhibition of miR-9-3p in the hippocampus resulted in learning and memory deficits. Furthermore, miR-9-3p inhibition increased the expression of the LTP-related genes Dmd and SAP97, the expression levels of which are negatively correlated with LTP. These results suggest that miR-9-3p-mediated gene regulation plays important roles in synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent memory.
Despite the abundant expression of the brain-specific microRNA miR-9-5p/3p in both proliferating and postmitotic neurons, most functional studies have focused on their role in neuronal development. Here, we examined the role of miR-9-5p/3p in adult brain and found that miR-9-3p, but not miR-9-5p, has a critical role in hippocampal synaptic plasticity and memory. Moreover, we identified in vivo binding targets of miR-9-3p that are involved in the regulation of long-term potentiation. Our study provides the very first evidence for the critical role of miR-9-3p in synaptic plasticity and memory in the adult mouse.