MicroRNAs: A novel therapeutic target for schizophrenia

Javier A. Bravo, Timothy G. Dinan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Schizophrenia is one of the most disabling psychiatric conditions. Current treatments target monoamine receptors but this approach does not address the full complexity of the disorder. Here we explore the possibility of developing new anti-psychotics by targeting microRNAs (miRNAs), single stranded RNA molecules, 21-23 nucleotides in length that are not translated into proteins and regulategene expression. The present review reveals that research involving schizophrenia and miRNA is very recent (the earliest report from 2007) and miRNAs add a significant layer of complexity to the pathophysiology of the disorder. However, miRNAs offer an exciting potential not only to understand the underlying mechanisms of schizophrenia, but also for the future development of antipsychotics, as the human miRNA system provides a rich and diverse opportunity for pharmacological targeting. However, technology is still developing in order to produce effective strategies to modulate specific and localized changes in miRNA, particularly in relation to the central nervous system and schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-188
Number of pages13
JournalCurrent Pharmaceutical Design
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Antipsychotics
  • Mirna
  • Non-coding nucleic acids
  • Schizophrenia


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