Cristina - Sorina CĂTANĂ1,*, Ioana BERINDAN-NEAGOE1,2, Dana OPRE3
1 University of Medicine and Phamarcy, Cluj Napoca
2 MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas
3 Department of Psychology, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj Napoca
Genetic factors underlie individual differences in cognitive functions and are implied in regulating aging. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding RNAs mediating post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. The literature has showed that miRNAs modulate nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB) pathway and are lying at the intersection between aging and inflammation (alteration in intercellular communication such as heightened inflammatory response is a hallmark of aging). Moreover, miRNA seem to be implicated in hippocampus-dependent functions such as learning and memory. This review provides confirmation that (a) miRNAs play a crucial role in aging and that (b) miRNAs affect learning and memory functioning. In this sense, we highlight the links between the pro-inflammatory mechanism underlying aging processes and the precise function of certain miRNAs in cellular senescence. This review also took into account the molecular and cognitive studies that revealed a role for miR-124 in learning and memory. Inhibition of miR-124 resulted in an enhanced spatial learning and working memory capacity, potentially through altered levels of genes linked to synaptic plasticity and neuronal transmission. In contrast, inhibition of miR-9 or miR-34 seems to lead to a decreased capacity of spatial learning and of reference memory. Hence, based on the scientific literature, this review establishes the role of miRNA in aging, learning, and memory.
KEYWORDS: microRNAs, NF-kappa B, inflammation, age-related diseases
* Corresponding author: