Expression, Covariation, and Genetic Regulation of miRNA Biogenesis Genes in Brain Supports Their Role in Addiction, Psychiatric Disorders, and Disease.

Expression, covariation, and genetic regulation of miRNA Biogenesis genes in brain supports their role in addiction, psychiatric disorders, and disease.

Front Genet. 2013; 4: 126
Mulligan MK, Dubose C, Yue J, Miles MF, Lu L, Hamre KM

The role of miRNA and miRNA biogenesis genes in the adult brain is just beginning to be explored. In this study we have performed a comprehensive analysis of the expression, genetic regulation, and co-expression of major components of the miRNA biogenesis pathway using human and mouse data sets and resources available on the GeneNetwork web site ( We found a wide range of variation in expression in both species for key components of the pathway-Drosha, Pasha, and Dicer. Across species, tissues, and expression platforms all three genes are generally well-correlated. No single genetic locus exerts a strong and consistent influence on the expression of these key genes across murine brain regions. However, in mouse striatum, many members of the miRNA pathway are correlated-including Dicer, Drosha, Pasha, Ars2 (Srrt), Eif2c1 (Ago1), Eif2c2 (Ago2), Zcchc11, and Snip1. The expression of these genes may be partly influenced by a locus on Chromosome 9 (105.67-106.32 Mb). We explored ~1500 brain phenotypes available for the C57BL/6J × DBA/2J (BXD) genetic mouse population in order to identify miRNA biogenesis genes correlated with traits related to addiction and psychiatric disorders. We found a significant association between expression of Dicer and Drosha in several brain regions and the response to many drugs of abuse, including ethanol, cocaine, and methamphetamine. Expression of Dicer, Drosha, and Pasha in most of the brain regions explored is strongly correlated with the expression of key members of the dopamine system. Drosha, Pasha, and Dicer expression is also correlated with the expression of behavioral traits measuring depression and sensorimotor gating, impulsivity, and anxiety, respectively. Our study provides a global survey of the expression and regulation of key miRNA biogenesis genes in brain and provides preliminary support for the involvement of these genes and their product miRNAs in addiction and psychiatric disease processes. HubMed – addiction

Probabilistic sequence learning in mild cognitive impairment.

Front Hum Neurosci. 2013; 7: 318
Nemeth D, Janacsek K, Király K, Londe Z, Németh K, Fazekas K, Adám I, Elemérné K, Csányi A

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) causes slight but noticeable disruption in cognitive systems, primarily executive and memory functions. However, it is not clear if the development of sequence learning is affected by an impaired cognitive system and, if so, how. The goal of our study was to investigate the development of probabilistic sequence learning, from the initial acquisition to consolidation, in MCI and healthy elderly control groups. We used the Alternating Serial Reaction Time task (ASRT) to measure probabilistic sequence learning. Individuals with MCI showed weaker learning performance than the healthy elderly group. However, using the reaction times only from the second half of each learning block-after the reactivation phase-we found intact learning in MCI. Based on the assumption that the first part of each learning block is related to reactivation/recall processes, we suggest that these processes are affected in MCI. The 24-h offline period showed no effect on sequence-specific learning in either group but did on general skill learning: the healthy elderly group showed offline improvement in general reaction times while individuals with MCI did not. Our findings deepen our understanding regarding the underlying mechanisms and time course of sequence acquisition and consolidation. HubMed – addiction

Association between DPYSL2 gene polymorphisms and alcohol dependence in Caucasian samples.

J Neural Transm. 2013 Jul 12;
Taylor A, Wang KS

The DPYSL2 gene at 8p22-p21 is expressed widely in neuronal tissues and has been implicated in multiple psychiatric disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia. We therefore hypothesized that DPYSL2 gene polymorphisms may play a role in alcohol dependence (AD). We investigated the genetic associations of 57 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the DPYSL2 gene with AD using two Caucasian samples-the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA) sample (660 AD cases and 400 controls), and the Study of Addiction: Genetics and Environment (SAGE) sample (623 cases and 1,016 controls). The SNP rs11995227 was most significantly associated with AD (p = 0.000122) in the COGA sample while one flanking SNP rs7832576 revealed the second most significant association with AD (p = 0.00163) in the COGA sample and association with AD (p = 0.0195) in the SAGE sample. Meta-analysis of two samples showed both rs119952227 and rs7832576 were associated with AD (p = 0.000363 and 0.000184, respectively). Furthermore, the C-A haplotype from rs11995227 and rs7832576 revealed significant association with AD (p = 0.0000899) in the COGA sample while the T-G haplotype revealed association with AD both in the COGA and SAGE samples (p = 0.00098 and 0.021, respectively). These findings suggest that genetic variants in DPYSL2 may play a role in susceptibility to AD. HubMed – addiction

Behavioral and neurochemical characterization of kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) extract.

Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2013 Jul 12;
Stolt AC, Schröder H, Neurath H, Grecksch G, Höllt V, Meyer MR, Maurer HH, Ziebolz N, Havemann-Reinecke U, Becker A

Mitragyna speciosa and its extracts are named kratom (dried leaves, extract). It contains several alkaloids and is used in traditional medicine to alleviate musculoskeletal pain, hypertension, coughing, diarrhea, and as an opiate substitute for addicts. Abuse and addiction to kratom is described, and kratom has attracted increasing interest in Western countries. Individual effects of kratom on opioidergic, adrenergic, serotonergic, and dopaminergic receptors are known, but not all of the effects have been explained. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic data are needed.The effects of kratom extract on mice behavior were investigated following oral (po), intraperitoneal (ip), and intracerebroventricular (icv) application. Receptor-binding studies were performed.In ? opioid receptor knockout mice (-/-) and wild type (+/+) animals, the extract reduced locomotor activity after ip and low po doses in +/+ animals, but not after icv administration. The ip effect was counteracted by 0.3 mg/kg of apomorphine sc, suggesting dopaminergic presynaptic activity. An analgesic effect was only found in -/- mice after icv application. Norbinaltorphimine abolished the analgesic effect, but not the inhibitory effect, on locomotor activity, indicating that the analgesic effect is mediated via ? opioid receptors. Oral doses, which did not diminish locomotor activity, impaired the acquisition of shuttle box avoidance learning. There was no effect on consolidation. Binding studies showed affinity of kratom to ?, ?, and ? opioid receptors and to dopamine D1 receptors.The results obtained in drug-naïve mice demonstrate weak behavioral effects mediated via ? and ? opioid receptors. HubMed – addiction

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