MicroRNA-16 and Depression

Science Signaling  21 Sep 2010:
Vol. 3, Issue 140, pp. ec293
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.3140ec293

Signal transmission between neurons is effected by neurotransmitters such as serotonin. Membrane-bound transporters remove excess neurotransmitters. Disruption of the delicate balance between neurotransmitter release and removal can lead to larger disruptions in neuronal circuitry. Depression and anxiety may be linked to dysfunction of some of these circuits. Uptake inhibitors can be used to treat depression, but the molecular pathways affected have been unclear. Baudry et al. now show that microRNA-16 controls synthesis of the serotonin transporter and that the amount of microRNA-16 can be controlled by the same uptake inhibitors used to treat depression.

A. Baudry, S. Mouillet-Richard, B. Schneider, J.-M. Launay, O. Kellermann, MiR-16 targets the serotonin transporter: A new facet for adaptive responses to antidepressants. Science 329, 1537–1541 (2010). [Abstract] [Full Text]