Circulating miRNA Associated with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in a Cohort of Military Combat Veterans



Objective: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects a high proportion of returning combat veterans, but the biological mechanisms of PTSD remain unclear. Circulating micro RNAs (miRNAs) have been associated with depression, and anxiety disorders, but there is little understanding of how miRNAs may relate to PTSD. In this study we compare profiles of circulating miRNA in combat veterans with and without PTSD in order to better understand biological mechanisms of PTSD.; Methods: Blood from 24 male military service members was collected following deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) or Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), and subjects were assessed for PTSD symptoms using the PTSD checklist-military version. miRNA was isolated from whole blood and sequenced on the Ion Torrent PGM™ using the Ion 316 Chip v2. Differences in miRNA expression was compared between subjects with PTSD (N=15) and combat matched controls without PTSD (N=9). Significantly different miRNA, according to a FDR≤0.05, were assessed for predictive putative targets, and pathway analysis of related targets was completed.; Results: PTSD was associated with 4 upregulated and 4 downregulated miRNA, including a 2.94 fold increase in miR-19a-3p and a 1.56 fold decrease in miR-15b. Pathway analysis show that PTSD is related to the axon guidance and Wnt signaling pathways, which work together along with the adherens junction and MAPK signaling pathways to support neuronal development through regulation of growth cones. The PTSD associated miRNAs related to transcription factors, including Transcription factor 7 (T-cell specific, HMG-box), Transcription factor 7 like 1, and Transcription factor 7 like 2.; Conclusions: PTSD is associated with miRNAs that regulate biological functions that include neuronal activities, suggesting that they play a role in PTSD symptomatology.

Overall Design

miRNA profiling of 24 human blood samples at two time points to study PTSD


Data and Resources

Raw Files [48]

Additional Info

Field Value
Type of Data

Non-coding RNA profiling by high throughput sequencing


RNA Sequencing

GSE Submission Date 07/10/2016
GSE Authors Sijung,,Yun; Heather Rusch
Pubmed ID 28222310
Dataset Last Updated December 1, 2020, 19:22 (UTC)
Dataset Created December 1, 2020, 17:09 (UTC)