Newer insights into the role of miRNA a tiny genetic tool in psychiatric disorders: focus on post-traumatic stress disorder

V. V. Giridharan, R. A. Thandavarayan, G. R. Fries, C. Walss-Bass, T. Barichello, N. J. Justice, M. K. Reddy, J. Quevedo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental disorder occurring in about 2-9% of individuals after their exposure to life-threatening events, such as severe accidents, sexual abuse, combat or a natural catastrophe. Because PTSD patients are exposed to trauma, it is likely that epigenetic modifications have an important role in disease development and prognosis. For the past two decades, abnormal expression of the epigenetic regulators microRNAs (miRs) and miR-mediated gene regulation have been given importance in a variety of human diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and viral infection. Emerging evidence supports a role for miR dysregulation in psychiatric and neurological disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety, major depressive disorder, autism spectrum disorder and Tourette's syndrome. Recently mounting of evidence supports the role of miR both in preclinical and clinical settings of psychiatric disorders. Abnormalities in miR expression can fine-tune the expression of multiple genes within a biological network, suggesting that miR dysregulation may underlie many of the molecular changes observed in PTSD pathogenesis. This provides strong evidence that miR not only has a critical role in PTSD pathogenesis, but can also open up new avenues for the development of diagnostic tools and therapeutic targets for the PTSD phenotype. In this review, we revisit some of the recent evidence associated with miR and PTSD in preclinical and clinical settings. We also discuss the possible clinical applications and future use of miRs in PTSD therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e954
JournalTranslational Psychiatry
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 15 2016


  • Review
  • Journal Article

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry


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