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Impact of Expression and Genetic Variation of microRNA-34b/c on Cognitive Dysfunction in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder

Authors Sun N, Yang C, He X, Liu Z, Liu S, Li X, Wang Y, Jin R, Zhang K

Received 30 January 2020

Accepted for publication 17 May 2020

Published 19 June 2020 Volume 2020:16 Pages 1543—1554


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Jun Chen

Ning Sun,1,2 Chunxia Yang,1 Xiaoting He,1,3 Zhifen Liu,1 Sha Liu,1 Xinrong Li,1 Yanfang Wang,1 Ruihua Jin,2 Kerang Zhang1

1Department of Psychiatry, First Hospital of Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan, People’s Republic of China; 2Nursing College of Shanxi Medical University, Taiyuan, People’s Republic of China; 3University-Town Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Ruihua Jin; Kerang Zhang Email [email protected]; [email protected]

Background: Patients suffering from major depressive disorder (MDD) commonly demonstrate lower performance across multiple cognitive domains. Cognitive impairment is an intrinsic characteristic of MDD status and is often influenced by genetic factors. microRNAs (miRNAs or miRs) have been shown to have important implications in the etiology of MDD. Therefore, we aimed to identify and analyze the impact of expression and genetic variation of miR-34b/c on cognitive dysfunction in MDD.
Methods: First, we analyzed miR-34c-5p expression in 48 cases of MDD and 54 healthy controls in a Chinese population using qRT-PCR. We assessed the relationship between the level of miR-34c-5p expression and cognitive performance by Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) and the Trail Making Test (TMT). Second, in order to characterize allelic effects of miR-34b/c on cognitive performance in MDD patients, we performed genetic association analysis of single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) loci of the MIR34B/C genes with cognitive function in a second group consisting of 531 MDD patients and 267 healthy controls.
Results: We found a significant negative correlation between the level of miR-34c-5p expression and both the language and delayed memory index scores in patients with MDD. We also found a significant positive correlation between the level of miR-34c-5p expression and the time required to complete tests A and B of the TMT. The interaction between the rs2187473 genotype and the disease was significant for both immediate memory and delayed memory. In the patient group, the rs2187473 CC genotype was significantly associated with higher performance on immediate memory (F = 6.683, p < 0.05) and delayed memory tasks (F = 4.221, p < 0.05).
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that changes in miR-34c expression level have important impacts on cognitive function in patients with MDD. In particular, the polymorphism rs2187473 is a potential genetic risk factor for cognitive function in MDD, which may be of clinical use.

Keywords: major depressive disorder, MDD, microRNA-34c, single-nucleotide polymorphism, cognitive function

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