N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptors are regulators of fast neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity in the brain. Disruption of NMDA-mediated glutamate signaling has been linked to behavioral deficits displayed in psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. Recently, noncoding RNA molecules such as microRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as critical regulators of neuronal functions. Here we show that pharmacological (dizocilpine) or genetic (NR1 hypomorphism) disruption of NMDA receptor signaling reduces levels of a brain-specific miRNA, miR-219, in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of mice. Consistent with a role for miR-219 in NMDA receptor signaling, we identify calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II gamma subunit (CaMKIIgamma), a component of the NMDA receptor signaling cascade, as a target of miR-219. In vivo inhibition of miR-219 by specific antimiR in the murine brain significantly modulated behavioral responses associated with disrupted NMDA receptor transmission. Furthermore, pretreatment with the antipsychotic drugs haloperidol and clozapine prevented dizocilpine-induced effects on miR-219. Taken together, these data support an integral role for miR-219 in the expression of behavioral aberrations associated with NMDA receptor hypofunction.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America, 2009, Vol 106, Issue 9, p. 3507-12