Norepinephrine (NE) is produced primarily by neurons in the locus coeruleus (LC). Retrograde and ultrastructural examinations reveal that the core of the LC and its surrounding region receives afferent projections from several brain areas which provide multiple neurochemical inputs to the LC with changes in LC neuronal firing, making it a highly coordinated event. Although NE and mediated signaling systems have been studied in relation to suicide and psychiatric disorders that increase the risk of suicide including depression, less is known about the corresponding changes in molecular network within LC. In this study, we examined miRNA networks in the LC of depressed suicide completers and healthy controls. Expression array revealed differential regulation of 13 miRNAs. Interaction between altered miRNAs and target genes showed dense interconnected molecular network. Functional clustering of predicated target genes yielded stress induced disorders that collectively showed the complex nature of suicidal behavior. In addition, 25 miRNAs were pairwise correlated specifically in the depressed suicide group, but not in the control group. Altogether, our study revealed for the first time the involvement of LC based dysregulated miRNA network in disrupting cellular pathways associated with suicidal behavior.
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