A role for miR-132 in learned safety

Marianne Ronovsky, Alice Zambon, Ana Cicvaric, Vincent Boehm, Bastian Hoesel, Bernhard A. Moser, Jiaye Yang, Johannes A. Schmid, Wulf E. Haubensak, Francisco J. Monje, Daniela D. Pollak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

20 Citations (Scopus)


Learned safety is a fear inhibitory mechanism, which regulates fear responses, promotes episodes of safety and generates positive affective states. Despite its potential as experimental model for several psychiatric illnesses, including post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, the molecular mechanisms of learned safety remain poorly understood, We here investigated the molecular mediators of learned safety, focusing on the characterization of miRNA expression in the basolateral amygdala (BLA). Comparing levels of 22 miRNAs in learned safety and learned fear trained mice, six safety-related miRNAs, including three members of the miR-132/-212 family, were identified. A gain-of-function approach based upon in-vivo transfection of a specific miRNA mimic, and miR-132/212 knock-out mice as loss-of-function tool were used in order to determine the relevance of miR-132 for learned safety at the behavioral and the neuronal functional levels. Using a designated bioinformatic approach, PTEN and GAT1 were identified as potential novel miR-132 target genes and further experimentally validated. We here firstly provide evidence for a regulation of amygdala miRNA expression in learned safety and propose miR-132 as signature molecule to be considered in future preclinical and translational approaches testing the transdiagnostic relevance of learned safety as intermediate phenotype in fear and stress-related disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Article number528
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Multidisciplinary


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