Microribonucleic acids (miRNAs) play a pivotal role in numerous aspects of the nervous system and are increasingly recognized as key regulators in neurodegenerative diseases. This study hypothesized that miR-34c, a miRNA expressed in mammalian hippocampi whose expression level can alter the hippocampal dendritic spine density, could induce memory impairment akin to that of patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in mice. In this study, we showed that miR-34c overexpression in hippocampal neurons negatively regulated dendritic length and spine density. Hippocampal neurons transfected with miR-34c had shorter dendrites on average and fewer filopodia and spines than those not transfected with miR-34c (control mice). Because dendrites and synapses are key sites for signal transduction and fundamental structures for memory formation and storage, disrupted dendrites can contribute to AD. Therefore, we supposed that miR-34c, through its effects on dendritic spine density, influences synaptic plasticity and plays a key role in AD pathogenesis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry