Small RNA-Seq reveals novel miRNAs shaping the transcriptomic identity of rat brain structures

Life Sci Alliance. 2018 Sep 30;1(5):e201800018. doi: 10.26508/lsa.201800018. eCollection 2018 Oct.


In the central nervous system (CNS), miRNAs are involved in key functions, such as neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity. Moreover, they are essential to define specific transcriptomes in tissues and cells. However, few studies were performed to determine the miRNome of the different structures of the rat CNS, although a major model in neuroscience. Here, we determined by small RNA-Seq, the miRNome of the olfactory bulb, the hippocampus, the cortex, the striatum, and the spinal cord and showed the expression of 365 known miRNAs and 90 novel miRNAs. Differential expression analysis showed that several miRNAs were specifically enriched/depleted in these CNS structures. Transcriptome analysis by mRNA-Seq and correlation based on miRNA target predictions suggest that the specifically enriched/depleted miRNAs have a strong impact on the transcriptomic identity of the CNS structures. Altogether, these results suggest the critical role played by these enriched/depleted miRNAs, in particular the novel miRNAs, in the functional identities of CNS structures.