Pioneering studies in Drosophila established the importance of the RISC
component Armitage in long-lasting memory within the adult olfactory system though analysis of CamKII expression ( Ashraf et al., 2006). These studies indicate that miRNAs may be acting in both neuronal remodeling and maintenance of neuronal connections this website in memory and their opposing roles may be due to the spatial temporal specificity of their expression. Zeroing in on the temporal contribution of miRNAs, their role in early hippocampal development was investigated by conditionally ablating dicer at varying embryonic time points. These studies revealed a timing requirement of miRNAs for the formation of specific hippocampal regions ( Li et al., 2011). As a whole, studies of the core miRNA processing pathway have focused attention
on miRNA function in neural circuits, but mechanistic insights into such functions require analysis of individual miRNAs and the target genes they control. Much of our knowledge about individual miRNA functions at the synapse was initially informed by studies profiling miRNA expression in the nervous system. Candidate miRNA functions have been frequently explored by initial studies in primary dissociated cell culture models that provide a platform highly accessible to miRNA manipulation through PF-02341066 research buy the use of antagomers, “locked nucleic acid” (LNA) oligonucleotides, and overexpression constructs (e.g., Giraldez et al., 2005; Leaman et al., 2005; Krützfeldt et al., 2005; Lanford et al., 2010). A drawback for use of LNAs to disrupt miRNA is their difficulty of use for in vivo systems. Overexpression models can be easier to execute than in vivo loss-of-function models but can be misleading due to the very tight expression range in which miRNAs function. As a whole, experiments using both loss and gain of function have been very informative in
the Olopatadine role miRNAs are playing at the level of individual neurons and neuronal cell biology but due to the inherent tuning nature of miRNAs and the importance of spatial and temporal control, it is important to emphasize that analysis of miRNAs in an intact cellular context at endogenous levels is very important. As we examine recent work in the area of miRNAs at the synapse, two major themes arise (Figure 3). The themes of both the negative and positive regulation of synaptic growth illustrate the balancing and tuning role miRNAs play to facilitate synaptic development and activity-driven plasticity. Perhaps not surprisingly, negative regulation and suppression of synaptic connections appear to be a primary function of many miRNAs at the synapse (Figure 3). For example, miR-138 is found highly enriched in the brain and localized within dendrites.