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Gender-Specific Reduction of Estrogen-Sensitive Small RNA, miR-30b, in Subjects With Schizophrenia
GSBS Student Publications
  • Nikolaos Mellios, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Marzena Galdzicka, UMass Memorial Hospital Laboratories
  • Edward Ginns, UMass Memorial Hospital Laboratories
  • Stephen P. Baker, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Evgeny I. Rogaev, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Jun Xu, Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Schahram Akbarian, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Student Author(s)
Nikolaos Mellios
GSBS Program
Publication Date
UMMS Affiliation
Department of Psychiatry; Information Services, Academic Computing Services
Document Type

Estrogen signaling pathways affect cortical function and metabolism, are thought to play a role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, and exert neuroprotective effects in female subjects at risk. However, the molecular signatures of estrogen signaling in normal and diseased cerebral cortex remain largely unexplored. Expression of the estrogen-sensitive small RNA, microRNA-30b (miR-30b), was studied in 30 controls and 30 matched samples from subjects diagnosed with schizophrenia from prefrontal cortex (PFC), as well as in 23 samples from parietal cortex (12 controls and 11 schizophrenia cases). The majority of case and control samples were genotyped for an estrogen receptor alpha (Esr1) sequence variant (rs2234693) previously associated with genetic risk, and a subset of them were subjected to further analysis to determine expression of mature and precursor forms of miR-30b (pre/pri-miR-30b). Gender-dimorphic expression was also explored in mouse frontal cortex and hippocampus. A significant interaction between gender and diagnosis was discovered for changes in mature miR-30b levels, so that miR-30b expression was significantly reduced in the cerebral cortex of female but not male subjects with schizophrenia. In addition, disease-related changes in miR-30b expression in a subset of female subjects were further modulated by Esr1 genotype. Changes after antipsychotic drug exposure remained insignificant. These preliminary findings point to the possibility that disease-related changes in the expression of small noncoding RNAs such as miR-30b in schizophrenia could be influenced by gender and potentially regulated by estrogen signaling.

DOI of Published Version
Schizophr Bull. 2012 May;38(3):433-43. Epub 2010 Aug 23. Link to article on publisher's site
Related Resources
Link to Article in PubMed
PubMed ID
Citation Information
Nikolaos Mellios, Marzena Galdzicka, Edward Ginns, Stephen P. Baker, et al.. "Gender-Specific Reduction of Estrogen-Sensitive Small RNA, miR-30b, in Subjects With Schizophrenia" Vol. 38 Iss. 3 (2012) ISSN: 0586-7614 (Linking)
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