MicroRNAs show mutually exclusive expression patterns in the brain of adult male rats

PLoS One. 2009 Oct 6;4(10):e7225. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007225.


Background: The brain is a major site of microRNA (miRNA) gene expression, but the spatial expression patterns of miRNAs within the brain have not yet been fully covered.

Methodology/principal findings: We have characterized the regional expression profiles of miRNAs in five distinct regions of the adult rat brain: amygdala, cerebellum, hippocampus, hypothalamus and substantia nigra. Microarray profiling uncovered 48 miRNAs displaying more than three-fold enrichment between two or more brain regions. Notably, we found reciprocal expression profiles for a subset of the miRNAs predominantly found (> ten times) in either the cerebellum (miR-206 and miR-497) or the forebrain regions (miR-132, miR-212, miR-221 and miR-222).

Conclusions/significance: The results indicate that some miRNAs could be important for area-specific functions in the brain. Our data, combined with previous studies in mice, provides additional guidance for future investigations of miRNA functions in the brain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cerebellum / metabolism*
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • MicroRNAs / metabolism*
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Prosencephalon / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA


  • MicroRNAs