Neuronal activity rapidly induces transcription of the CREB-regulated microRNA-132, in vivo

Hippocampus. 2010 Apr;20(4):492-8. doi: 10.1002/hipo.20646.


Activity-dependent changes in gene-expression are believed to underlie the molecular representation of memory. In this study, we report that in vivo activation of neurons rapidly induces the CREB-regulated microRNA miR-132. To determine if production of miR-132 is regulated by neuronal activity its expression in mouse brain was monitored by quantitative RT-PCR (RT-qPCR). Pilocarpine-induced seizures led to a robust, rapid, and transient increase in the primary transcript of miR-132 (pri-miR-132) followed by a subsequent rise in mature microRNA (miR-132). Activation of neurons in the hippocampus, olfactory bulb, and striatum by contextual fear conditioning, odor-exposure, and cocaine-injection, respectively, also increased pri-miR-132. Induction kinetics of pri-miR-132 were monitored and found to parallel those of immediate early genes, peaking at 45 min and returning to basal levels within 2 h of stimulation. Expression levels of primary and mature-miR-132 increased significantly between postnatal Days 10 and 24. We conclude that miR-132 is an activity-dependent microRNA in vivo, and may contribute to the long-lasting proteomic changes required for experience-dependent neuronal plasticity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Association Learning / physiology
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein / genetics*
  • Gene Expression / genetics
  • Hippocampus / physiology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / genetics*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Pilocarpine
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Seizures / chemically induced
  • Seizures / genetics*
  • Transcription, Genetic / genetics*


  • Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein
  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Pilocarpine