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Increased miR-132 level is associated with visual memory dysfunction in patients with depression

Authors Liu Y, Yang X, Zhao L, Zhang J, Li T, Ma X

Received 2 July 2016

Accepted for publication 7 September 2016

Published 9 November 2016 Volume 2016:12 Pages 2905—2911


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Wai Kwong Tang

Ye Liu,1,2 Xiao Yang,1,2 Liansheng Zhao,1,2 Jian Zhang,1,2 Tao Li,1,2 Xiaohong Ma1,2

1Psychiatric Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry, 2National Key Laboratory of Biotherapy, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, People’s Republic of China

Background: Impaired visual memory seems to be a core feature of depression, while increased microRNA-132 (miR-132) levels have been widely reported in depression patients. The authors aimed to explore the relationship between miR-132 changes and visual memory deficits in unmedicated patients with major depressive disorder (MDD).
Patients and methods: A total of 62 medication-free MDD patients and 73 matched healthy controls (HCs) were tested for miR-132 expression level in peripheral blood using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. We used a computerized neurocognitive task from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) – pattern recognition ­memory (PRM) task – as a measurement of visual memory. The relationship between visual memory, miR-132 expression level, and clinical symptoms was explored in patients with MDD.
Results: Upregulated miR-132 expression levels were seen in MDD patients but not in HCs. Two-sample t-tests showed that MDD patients had decreased visual memory, mainly memory delayed compared to that of HCs. Correlation analyses revealed that in MDD patients, increased miR-132 expression levels were significantly correlated with visual memory as measured by the CANTABPRM. Hamilton Rating Scale for Anxiety scores were negatively correlated with PRM – number correct (immediate) and PRM – percent correct (immediate).
Limitations: The main limitations were missing data and lack of follow-up studies.
Conclusion: Our study suggests that increased miR-132 expression levels were associated with visual memory deficits, which may underlie the pathophysiology of MDD. In individuals with depression, immediate visual memory defects were positively correlated with anxiety symptoms.

Keywords: major depressive disorder, miR-132, cognition, memory, CANTAB

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