Mir363-3p attenuates post-stroke depressive-like behaviors in middle-aged female rats Academic Article uri icon


  • Women are more likely to develop Post Stroke Depression (PSD) than men and generally do not respond well to anti-depressants with age. This study investigated the effect of microRNA mir363-3p treatment on PSD using a physiologically-relevant animal model. Our previous work showed that mir363-3p treatment, delivered post-stroke, effectively reduces infarct volume in the acute phase of stroke in middle-aged females but not males. Middle-aged female Sprague Dawley rats were tested for baseline sensory motor function and depressive-like behaviors, and then subjected to ischemic stroke via middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) or sham surgery. Animals received either control oligos (MCAo+scrambled, Sham+scrambled) or mir363-3p (MCAo+mir363-3p, Sham+mir363-3p) treatment 4 h later. Sensory motor function and depressive-like behaviors were reassessed up to 100 d after stroke, and circulating levels of IL-6, TNF-alpha and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) were quantified at regular intervals. Prior to termination, Fluorogold was injected into the striatum to assess meso-striatal projections. MCAo+scrambled animals had impaired sensorimotor performance in the acute phase (5 days) of stroke and developed anhedonia, decreased sociability and increased helplessness in the chronic phase. MCAo+mir363-3p animals showed significantly less sensory motor impairment and fewer depressive-like behaviors. IL-6 and TNF-alpha were elevated transiently at 4 weeks after MCAo in both groups. BDNF levels decreased progressively after stroke in the MCAo+scrambled group, and this was attenuated in the mir363-3p group. The number of retrogradely-labeled SNc and VTA cells was reduced in the ischemic hemisphere of the MCAo+scrambled group. In contrast, there was no interhemispheric difference in the number of retrogradely-labeled SNc and VTA cells of MCAo+mir363-3p treated animals. Our results support a therapeutic role for mir363-3p for long-term stroke disability.

author list (cited authors)

  • Panta, A., Pandey, S., Duncan, I. N., Duhamel, S., & Sohrabji, F.

citation count

  • 9

publication date

  • January 2019