Two new LIGA papers on the role of miRNAs in AD and PD

In collaboration with their partners at Oxford and London, the LIGA group recently completed two projects on the role of micro-RNAs in Alzheimer’s (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD). This work extended earlier meta-analytic projects led by the LIGA team combining published evidence on the topic (see papers by Takousis et al, 2019 and Schulz et al. 2019). Our new work took the main results of these meta-analyses and tested them in two unique and independent collections of human brain samples contributed by our collaborators in the UK. Specifically, the first new study (published in Translational Psychiatry) revealed that micro-RNAs miR-129-5p, miR-132-5p, and miR-138-5p, and miR-195-5p are differentially expressed in Alzheimer’s. Interestingly, the second study (now in press in the journal Brain Communications) also found miR-129-5p and miR-132-5p to be differentially expressed in Parkinson’s. In addition, this latter work also implied PD candidate miR-132-3p to be associated with both disorders. Collectively, these results point to a “common micro-RNA signature” in both AD and PD, potentially pinpointing shared pathogenic mechanisms across these two neurodegenerative diseases. Both studies were spearheaded by LIGA member Valerija Dobricic who also served as first author on both papers.