MicroRNA expression patterns in human anterior cingulate and motor cortex: A study of dementia with Lewy bodies cases and controls

Peter T. Nelson, Wang Xia Wang, Sarah A. Janse, Katherine L. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Overview MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been implicated in neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Here, we evaluated the expression of miRNAs in anterior cingulate (AC; Brodmann area [BA] 24) and primary motor (MO; BA 4) cortical tissue from aged human brains in the University of Kentucky AD Center autopsy cohort, with a focus on dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Methods RNA was isolated from gray matter of brain samples with pathology-defined DLB, AD, AD + DLB, and low-pathology controls, with n = 52 cases initially included (n = 23 with DLB), all with low (<4 h) postmortem intervals. RNA was profiled using Exiqon miRNA microarrays. Quantitative PCR for post hoc replication was performed on separate cases (n = 6 controls) and included RNA isolated from gray matter of MO, AC, primary somatosensory (BA 3), and dorsolateral prefrontal (BA 9) cortical regions. Results The miRNA expression patterns differed substantially according to anatomic location: of the relatively highly-expressed miRNAs, 150/481 (31%) showed expression that was different between AC versus MO (at p <.05 following correction for multiple comparisons), most (79%) with higher expression in MO. A subset of these results were confirmed in qPCR validation focusing on miR-7, miR-153, miR-133b, miR-137, and miR-34a. No significant variation in miRNA expression was detected in association with either neuropathology or sex after correction for multiple comparisons. Conclusion A subset of miRNAs (some previously associated with α-synucleinopathy and/or directly targeting α-synuclein mRNA) were differentially expressed in AC and MO, which may help explain why these brain regions show differences in vulnerability to Lewy body pathology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)374-383
Number of pages10
JournalBrain Research
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


  • Brain
  • Epigenetic
  • Frontal
  • Gender
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Neuropathology
  • Noncoding
  • Sensory
  • Synuclein
  • miR-107
  • miR-133
  • miR-15
  • miR-15/107
  • miR-16

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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