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MicroRNA-Based Biomarkers in the Diagnosis and Monitoring of Therapeutic Response in Patients with Depression

Authors Xu YY, Xia QH, Xia QR, Zhang XL, Liang J

Received 2 November 2019

Accepted for publication 16 December 2019

Published 27 December 2019 Volume 2019:15 Pages 3583—3597

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S237116

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Yuping Ning


Ya-Yun Xu,1–4 Qian-Hui Xia,5 Qing-Rong Xia,1,3,4 Xu-Lai Zhang,6,7 Jun Liang1,3,4

1Department of Pharmacy, Hefei Fourth People’s Hospital, Hefei 230000, People’s Republic of China; 2CAS Key Laboratory of Brain Function and Disease, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230022, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Psychopharmacology, Anhui Mental Health Center, Hefei 230000, People’s Republic of China; 4Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Affiliated Psychological Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei 230000, People’s Republic of China; 5School of Pharmacy, Wannan Medical College, Wuhu 241002, People’s Republic of China; 6Department of Geriatric Psychology, Hefei Fourth People’s Hospital, Hefei 230000, People’s Republic of China; 7Clinical School of Mental Health, Anhui Medical University, Hefei 230000, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Jun Liang
Department of Pharmacy, Hefei Fourth People’s Hospital, 316 Huangshan Road, Hefei 230000, People’s Republic of China
Tel/Fax +86 551 63616022
Email amhcliangj@163.com
Xu-Lai Zhang
Department of Geriatric Psychology, Hefei Fourth People’s Hospital, 316 Huangshan Road, Hefei 230000, People’s Republic of China
Tel/Fax +86 551 63616022
Email Xulaizhang@ahmhcentre.com

Abstract: Depression is a debilitating mental illness that affects up to 120 million people worldwide; it is currently determined based on subjective diagnostic schemes that are limited by high uncertainty. Hence, there is an urgent need to identify effective and reliable biomarkers to increase diagnostic accuracy. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) constitute a recently discovered class of non-coding RNAs that play a key role in the regulation of gene expression by modulating translation, messenger RNA (mRNA) degradation, or stability of mRNA targets. Dysregulated expression of miRNAs is being investigated as a clinical biomarker for a variety of diseases, including depression. Accumulating evidence has shown that miRNAs participate in many aspects of neural plasticity, neurogenesis, and the stress response. This is supported by more direct studies based on human postmortem brain tissue that strongly indicate that miRNAs not only play a key role in the pathogenesis of major depressive disorder, but also present potential for the development of therapeutic targets. miRNAs in the peripheral and central nervous system are being considered as potential biomarkers in the diagnosis of depression and in monitoring the therapeutic response to antidepressants, owing to their stability, tissue-specificity, and disease-specific expression. In this review, we focus on various miRNAs in tissues and fluids that could be employed as diagnostic and therapeutic biomarkers in patients with depression.

Keywords: depression, microRNA, biomarker, diagnosis, therapy

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