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Mammalian Genome

, 19:552

First Online: 02 July 2008Received: 06 February 2008Accepted: 17 May 2008


Micro-RNAs miRNAs are short, single-stranded, noncoding RNAs that are involved in the regulation of protein-coding genes at the level of messenger RNA mRNA. They are involved in the regulation of numerous traits, including developmental timing, apoptosis, immune function, and neuronal development. To better understand how the expression of the miRNAs themselves is regulated, we looked for miRNA expression differences among four mouse inbred strains, A-J, BALB-cJ, C57BL-6J, and DBA-2J, in one tissue, the hippocampus. A total of 166 miRNA RT-PCR assays were used to screen RNA pools for each strain. Twenty miRNA species that were markedly different between strains were further investigated using eight individual samples per strain, and 11 miRNAs showed significant differences across strains p < 0.05. This is the first observation of miRNA expression differences across inbred mice strains. We conducted an in silico correlation analysis of the expression of these differentially expressed miRNAs with phenotype data and mRNA expression to better characterise the effects of these miRNAs on both phenotype and the regulation of mRNA expression. This approach has allowed us to nominate miRNAs that have potential roles in anxiety, exploration, and learning and memory.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1007-s00335-008-9116-y contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Michael J. Parsons - Christina H. Grimm - Jose L. Paya-Cano - Karen Sugden - Wilfried Nietfeld - Hans Lehrach - Leonard 


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