Dysregulation of miR-15a-5p, miR-497a-5p and miR-511-5p Is Associated with Modulation of BDNF and FKBP5 in Brain Areas of PTSD-Related Susceptible and Resilient Mice

Oriana Maria Maurel, Sebastiano Alfio Torrisi, Cristina Barbagallo, Michele Purrello, Salvatore Salomone, Filippo Drago, Marco Ragusa, Gian Marco Leggio
2021 International Journal of Molecular Sciences  
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a neuropsychiatric disorder occurring in susceptible individuals following a traumatic event. Understanding the mechanisms subserving trauma susceptibility/resilience is essential to develop new effective treatments. Increasing evidence suggests that non-coding RNAs, such as microRNAs (miRNAs), may play a prominent role in mediating trauma susceptibility/resilience. In this study, we evaluated the transcriptional expression of two key PTSD-related genes
more » ... FKBP5 and BDNF) and the relative targeting miRNAs (miR-15a-5p, miR-497a-5p, miR-511-5p, let-7d-5p) in brain areas of PTSD-related susceptible and resilient mice identified through our recently developed mouse model of PTSD (arousal-based individual screening (AIS) model). We observed lower transcript levels of miR-15a-5p, miR-497a-5p, and miR-511a-5p in the hippocampus and hypothalamus of susceptible mice compared to resilient mice, suggesting that the expression of these miRNAs could discriminate the two different phenotypes of stress-exposed mice. These miRNA variations could contribute, individually or synergically, to the inversely correlated transcript levels of FKBP5 and BDNF. Conversely, in the medial prefrontal cortex, downregulation of miR-15a-5p, miR-511-5p, and let-7d-5p was observed both in susceptible and resilient mice, and not accompanied by changes in their mRNA targets. Furthermore, miRNA expression in the different brain areas correlated to stress-induced behavioral scores (arousal score, avoidance-like score, social memory score and PTSD-like score), suggesting a linear connection between miRNA-based epigenetic modulation and stress-induced phenotypes. Pathway analysis of a miRNA network showed a statistically significant enrichment of molecular processes related to PTSD and stress. In conclusion, our results indicate that PTSD susceptibility/resilience might be shaped by brain-area-dependent modulation of miRNAs targeting FKBP5, BDNF, and other stress-related genes.
doi:10.3390/ijms22105157 pmid:34068160 fatcat:pe7yyp3anjdxfpysx42tasia3i