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Mol Psychiatry. 2010 Dec;15(12):1176-89. doi: 10.1038/mp.2009.84. Epub 2009 Sep 1.

Schizophrenia is associated with an increase in cortical microRNA biogenesis.

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  • 1Schizophrenia Research Institute, Sydney, NSW, Australia.


MicroRNA expression profiling and quantitative reverse transcription-PCR analysis of the superior temporal gyrus and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex revealed a significant schizophrenia-associated increase in global microRNA expression. This change was associated with an elevation of primary microRNA processing and corresponded with an increase in the microprocessor component DGCR8. The biological implications for this extensive increase in gene silencing are profound, and were exemplified by members of the miR-15 family and other related microRNA, which were significantly upregulated in both brain regions. This functionally convergent influence is overrepresented in pathways involved in synaptic plasticity and includes many genes and pathways associated with schizophrenia, some of which were substantiated in vitro by reporter gene assay. Given the magnitude of microRNA changes and their wide sphere of influence, this phenomenon could represent an important dimension in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia.

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