Amygdalar MicroRNA-15a Is Essential for Coping with Chronic Stress

Naama Volk, Julius C. Pape, Mareen Engel, Anthony S. Zannas, Nadia Cattane, Annamaria Cattaneo, Elisabeth B. Binder, Alon Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


MicroRNAs are important regulators of gene expression and associated with stress-related psychiatric disorders. Here, we report that exposing mice to chronic stress led to a specific increase in microRNA-15a levels in the amygdala-Ago2 complex and a concomitant reduction in the levels of its predicted target, FKBP51, which is implicated in stress-related psychiatric disorders. Reciprocally, mice expressing reduced levels of amygdalar microRNA-15a following exposure to chronic stress exhibited increased anxiety-like behaviors. In humans, pharmacological activation of the glucocorticoid receptor, as well as exposure to childhood trauma, was associated with increased microRNA-15a levels in peripheral blood. Taken together, our results support an important role for microRNA-15a in stress adaptation and the pathogenesis of stress-related psychopathologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1882-1891
Number of pages10
JournalCell Reports
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Nov 8 2016


  • Ago2
  • amygdala
  • anxiety
  • childhood trauma
  • chronic stress
  • early life stress
  • FKBP5
  • microRNA-15a
  • stress adaption
  • stress-related psychopathologies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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