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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2016, Article ID 4959523, 13 pages
Review Article

Role of MicroRNA in Governing Synaptic Plasticity

1Department of Neurosurgery, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an 710032, China
2Department of Neurosurgery, Second Affiliated Hospital of Hunan Normal University (PLA 163 Hospital), Changsha 410000, China

Received 29 October 2015; Revised 6 January 2016; Accepted 14 February 2016

Academic Editor: Alexei Verkhratsky

Copyright © 2016 Yuqin Ye et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Although synaptic plasticity in neural circuits is orchestrated by an ocean of genes, molecules, and proteins, the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Recently, it is well acknowledged that miRNA exerts widespread regulation over the translation and degradation of target gene in nervous system. Increasing evidence suggests that quite a few specific miRNAs play important roles in various respects of synaptic plasticity including synaptogenesis, synaptic morphology alteration, and synaptic function modification. More importantly, the miRNA-mediated regulation of synaptic plasticity is not only responsible for synapse development and function but also involved in the pathophysiology of plasticity-related diseases. A review is made here on the function of miRNAs in governing synaptic plasticity, emphasizing the emerging regulatory role of individual miRNAs in synaptic morphological and functional plasticity, as well as their implications in neurological disorders. Understanding of the way in which miRNAs contribute to synaptic plasticity provides rational clues in establishing the novel therapeutic strategy for plasticity-related diseases.