Identification of MicroRNA-124-3p as a Putative Epigenetic Signature of Major Depressive Disorder

Academic Article


  • Major depressive disorder (MDD) is predicted to be the second leading cause of global disease burden by 2030. A large number of MDD patients do not respond to the currently available medication because of its poorly understood etiology. Recently, studies of microRNAs (miRNAs), which act as a molecular switch of gene expression, have shown promise in identifying a molecular network that could provide significant clues to various psychiatric illnesses. Using an in vitro system, a rodent depression model, and a human postmortem brain, we investigated the role of a brain-enriched, neuron-specific miRNA, miR-124-3p, whose expression is highly dysregulated in stressed rodents, and identified a set of target genes involved in stress response and neural plasticity. We also found that miR-124-3p is epigenetically regulated and its interaction with the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) is compromised in MDD. Using blood serum, we found similar dysregulation of miR-124-3p in antidepressant-free MDD subjects. Altogether, our study demonstrates potential contribution of miR-124-3p in the pathophysiology of MDD and suggests that this miRNA may serve as a novel target for drug development and a biomarker for MDD pathogenesis.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Roy B; Dunbar M; Shelton RC; Dwivedi Y
  • Start Page

  • 864
  • End Page

  • 875
  • Volume

  • 42
  • Issue

  • 4