Dysregulation of miR-185, miR-193a, and miR-450a in the skin are linked to the depressive phenotype

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BACKGROUND: Dysregulated microRNAs (miRNAs) in dermal fibroblasts of depressive subjects, indicate biomarker potential and can possibly aid clinical diagnostics. To overcome methodological challenges related to human experiments and fibroblast cultures, we here validate 38 miRNAs previously observed to be dysregulated in human fibroblasts from depressed subjects, in the skin of four distinct rat models of depression.

METHODS: In the presented study male rats from the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) model (n = 10/group), the chronic mild stress model (n = 10/group), Wistar Kyoto/Wistar Hannover rats (n = 10/group), and Flinders Resistant/Flinders Sensitive Line rats (n = 8/group) were included. Real-time qPCR was utilized to investigate miRNA alterations in flash-frozen skin-biopsies from the ear and fibroblast cultures.

RESULTS: In the ACTH rat model of depression, we identified nine dysregulated miRNAs in the skin and three in the fibroblasts. As the skin presented three times the amount of dysregulated miRNAs compared to the fibroblasts, skin instead of fibroblasts were continuously used for studies with the other rat models. In the skin from the four rat models of depression, 15 out of 38 miRNAs re-exhibited significant dysregulation in at least one of the rat models of depression and 67% were regulated in the same direction as in the human study. miR-450a and miR-193a presented dysregulation across rat models and miR-193a and miR-185 exhibited very strong dysregulation (30-fold and 50-fold, respectively). Lastly, an Ingenuity Pathway Analysis indicated functional overlap between dysregulated miRNAs, and common regulated pathways.

CONCLUSION: Flash-frozen skin is a valid alternative to fibroblast cultures as the skin appear to retain more of the miRNA dysregulation present in vivo. A sub-population of 15 miRNAs appear to be specific for the depressive phenotype, as they are dysregulated in both human depressed patients and distinct rat models of depression. We propose miR-450a, miR-185, and miR-193a as biomarker candidates of particular interest.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry
Vol/bind104
Sider (fra-til)110052
ISSN0278-5846
DOI
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 30 jul. 2020

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