Micro-RNA speciation in fetal, adult and Alzheimer's disease hippocampus

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Micro-RNAs constitute a family of small noncoding ribonucleic acids that are posttranscriptional regulators of messenger RNA activity. Although micro-RNAs are known to be dynamically regulated during neural development, the role of micro-RNAs in brain aging and neurodegeneration is not known. This study examined micro-RNA abundance in the hippocampal region of fetal, adult and Alzheimer's disease brain. The data indicate that micro-RNAs encoding miR-9, miR-124a, miR-125b, miR-128, miR-132 and miR-219 are abundantly represented in fetal hippocampus, are differentially regulated in aged brain, and an alteration in specific micro-RNA complexity occurs in Alzheimer hippocampus. These data are consistent with the idea that altered micro-RNA-mediated processing of messenger RNA populations may contribute to atypical mRNA abundance and neural dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease brain.

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