Editors' ChoiceNeuroscience

Not Too Much, Not Too Little

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Sci. Signal.  10 Dec 2013:
Vol. 6, Issue 305, pp. ec304
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2004975

The microRNA miR-128 is expressed in brain neurons of the mouse. Lek Tan et al. now find that miR-128 is crucial to stable brain function. Mice deficient in miR-128 developed hyperactivity and were susceptible to fatal seizures, whereas overexpression of miR-128 correlated with reduced motor activity and reduced susceptibility to proconvulsive drugs. Experiments using ex vivo–isolated adult brain tissues suggested that miR-128 controlled motor activity by governing the signaling network that determines the intrinsic excitability and signal responsiveness of neurons.

C. Lek Tan, J. L. Plotkin, M. T. Venø, M. von Schimmelmann, P. Feinberg, S. Mann, A. Handler, J. Kjems, D. J. Surmeier, D. O’Carroll, P. Greengard, A. Schaefer, MicroRNA-128 governs neuronal excitability and motor behavior in mice. Science 342, 1254–1258 (2013). [Abstract] [Full Text]