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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Mol. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2019.00260

MiR-137 Deficiency Causes Anxiety-like Behaviors in Mice

 Zhao-Qian Teng1*,  Chang-Mei Liu1*, Hai-liang Yan1, Xiao-Wen Sun1, Zhi-Meng Wang1,  Peipei Liu1,  Ting-Wei Mi1, Cong Liu1, Ying-Ying Wang1 and Hong-Zhen Du1
  • 1Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Anxiety and depression are major public health concerns worldwide. Although genome-wide association studies have identified several genes robustly associated with susceptibility for these disorders, the molecular and cellular mechanisms associated with anxiety and depression are largely unknown. Reduction of microRNA-137 (miR-137) level has been implicated in the etiology of major depressive disorder. However, little is known about the in vivo impact of the loss of miR-137 on the biology of anxiety and depression. Here we generated a forebrain-specific miR-137 knockout mouse line, and showed that miR-137 is critical for dendritic and synaptic growth in the forebrain. Mice with miR-137 loss-of-function exhibit anxiety-like behavior, and impaired spatial learning and memory. We then observe an elevated expression of EZH2 in the forebrain of miR-137 knockout mice, and provide direct evidence that knockdown of EZH2 can rescue anxious phenotypes associated with the loss of miR-137. Together our results suggest that loss of miR-137 contributes the etiology of anxiety, and EZH2 might be a potential therapeutic target for anxiety and depressive phenotypes associated with the dysfunction of miR-137.

Keywords: miR-137, EZH2, Synaptic Transmission, synaptic plasticity, Anxiety and depression

Received: 06 Jun 2019; Accepted: 11 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Teng, Liu, Yan, Sun, Wang, Liu, Mi, Liu, Wang and Du. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Dr. Zhao-Qian Teng, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China, tengzq@ioz.ac.cn
Dr. Chang-Mei Liu, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China, liuchm@ioz.ac.cn