Genomic and epigenomic responses to chronic stress involve miRNA-mediated programming

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Babenko, Olena M.
Golubov, Andrey
Ilnytskyy, Yaroslav
Kovalchuk, Igor
Metz, Gerlinde A. S.
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Public Library of Science
Stress represents a critical influence on motor system function and has been shown to impair movement performance. We hypothesized that stress-induced motor impairments are due to brain-specific changes in miRNA and protein-encoding gene expression. Here we show a causal link between stress-induced motor impairment and associated genetic and epigenetic responses in relevant central motor areas in a rat model. Exposure to two weeks of mild restraint stress altered the expression of 39 genes and nine miRNAs in the cerebellum. In line with persistent behavioural impairments, some changes in gene and miRNA expression were resistant to recovery from stress. Interestingly, stress up-regulated the expression of Adipoq and prolactin receptor mRNAs in the cerebellum. Stress also altered the expression of Prlr, miR-186, and miR-709 in hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. In addition, our findings demonstrate that miR-186 targets the gene Eps15. Furthermore, we found an age-dependent increase in EphrinB3 and GabaA4 receptors. These data show that even mild stress results in substantial genomic and epigenomic changes involving miRNA expression and associated gene targets in the motor system. These findings suggest a central role of miRNA-regulated gene expression in the stress response and in associated neurological function.
Sherpa Romeo green journal: open access
Motor system function , Genomic changes , Eipgenomic changes , miRNA expression , Stress , Gene expression , Motor impairments , Behavioural impairments
Babenko, O., Golubov, A., Ilnyskyy, Y., Kovalchuk, I., & Metz, G. A. (2012). Genomic and epigenomic responses to chronic stress involve miRNA-mediated programming. PLoS ONE, 7(1): e29441. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0029441