Peripheral nerve injury is a global problem that causes disability and severe socioeconomic burden. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) benefits peripheral nerve regeneration and becomes a promising therapeutic molecule. In the current study, we found that microRNA-1 (miR-1) directly targeted BDNF by binding to its 3'-UTR and caused both mRNA degradation and translation suppression of BDNF. Moreover, miR-1 induced BDNF mRNA degradation primarily through binding to target site 3 rather than target site 1 or 2 of BDNF 3'-UTR. Following rat sciatic nerve injury, a rough inverse correlation was observed between temporal expression profiles of miR-1 and BDNF in the injured nerve. The overexpression or silencing of miR-1 in cultured Schwann cells (SCs) inhibited or enhanced BDNF secretion from the cells, respectively, and also suppressed or promoted SC proliferation and migration, respectively. Interestingly, BDNF knockdown could attenuate the enhancing effect of miR-1 inhibitor on SC proliferation and migration. These findings will contribute to the development of a novel therapeutic strategy for peripheral nerve injury, which overcomes the limitations of direct administration of exogenous BDNF by using miR-1 to regulate endogenous BDNF expression.