Brain Disorders and InjuryNeural Excitability, Synapses, and GliaResearch News

A small molecule involved in depression

Findings could lead to a new therapeutic target

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a prevalent and debilitating illness, and is one of the leading causes of premature death worldwide. While various neurobiological factors have been associated with this complex disorder, the underlying cause is poorly understood. In an effort to better understand molecular pathways that play a role in this disorder, collaborating researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry and the Douglas Mental Health University Institute at McGill University analyzed important regulatory genes called microRNAs (miRNAs) in the brains of MDD patients. They found out that the microRNA miR-323a plays an important role in the development of MDD and opens up possibility to explore it as a therapeutic target in mood disorders. The results of this translational study were recently published in Molecular Psychiatry.


Laura M. Fiori, Aron Kos, Rixing Lin, Jean-Francois Théroux, Juan Pablo Lopez, Claudia Kühne, Carola Eggert, Maria Holzapfel, Rosa-Eva Huettl, Naguib Mechawar, Catherine Belzung, El Chérif Ibrahim, Alon Chen & Gustavo Turecki: miR-323a regulates ERBB4 and is involved in depression
Molecular Psychiatry, 2020
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