A meta-analysis of gene expression data highlights synaptic dysfunction in the hippocampus of brains with Alzheimer's disease
Since the world population is ageing, dementia is going to be a growing concern. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia. The pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease is extensively studied, yet unknown remains. Therefore, we aimed to extract new knowledge from existing data. We analysed about 2700 upregulated genes and 2200 downregulated genes from three studies on the CA1 of the hippocampus of brains with Alzheimer's disease. We found that only the calcium signalling pathway enriched by 48 downregulated genes was consistent between all three studies. We predicted miR-129 to target nine out of 48 genes. Then, we validated miR-129 to regulate six out of nine genes in HEK cells. We noticed that four out of six genes play a role in synaptic plasticity. Finally, we confirmed the upregulation of miR-129 in the hippocampus of brains of rats with scopolamine-induced amnesia as a model of Alzheimer's disease. We suggest that future research should investigate the possible role of miR-129 in synaptic plasticity and Alzheimer's disease. This paper presents a novel framework to gain insight into potential biomarkers and targets for diagnosis and treatment of diseases.