Chronic alcohol abuse and dependence are associated with dysfunctional dopaminergic neurotransmission in mesocorticolimbic circuits. Genetic and environmental factors have been shown to modulate susceptibility to alcohol dependence, and both may act through epigenetic mechanisms that can modulate gene expression, e.g. DNA methylation at CpG sites. Recent studies have suggested that DNA methylation patterns may change over time. However, few data are available concerning the rate of these changes in specific genes.
International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience: The Official Journal of the International Society for Developmental Neuroscience
Non-specific pharmacological inhibition of the histone deacetylase (HDAC) family of enzymes has largely beneficial effects in a variety of diverse contexts including cancer, cognitive function, and neurodegeneration. This review will discuss the role of individual HDAC isoforms in brain function during development and in the adult. Importantly class I and class II HDACs exhibit distinct cellular and subcellular expression patterns and utilize different signaling pathways to influence their substrates.
Physical activity, and specifically exercise, has been suggested as a potential treatment for drug addiction. In this review, we discuss clinical and preclinical evidence for the efficacy of exercise at different phases of the addiction process. Potential neurobiological mechanisms are also discussed focusing on interactions with dopaminergic and glutamatergic signaling and chromatin remodeling in the reward pathway.
Sleep is a complex physiological process and still remains one of the great mysteries of science. Over the past 10 y, genetic research has provided a new avenue to address the regulation and function of sleep. Gene loci that contribute quantitatively to sleep characteristics and variability have already been identified. However, up to now, a genetic basis has been established only for a few sleep disorders. Little is yet known about the genetic background of insomnia, one of the most common sleep disorders.
Childhood maltreatment (CM) has estimated prevalence among Western societies between 10% and 15%. As CM associates with increased risk of several psychiatric disorders, early age of illness onset, increased comorbidity and negative clinical outcome, it imposes a major public health, social and economic impact. Although the clinical consequences of CM are well characterized, a major challenge remains to understand how negative early-life events can affect brain function over extended periods of time.
The epigenetic dysregulation of the brain genome associated with the clinical manifestations of schizophrenia (SZ) includes altered DNA promoter methylation of several candidate genes. We and others have reported that two enzymes that belong to the DNA-methylation/demethylation network pathways-DNMT1 (DNA-methyltransferase) and ten-eleven translocator-1(TET1) methylcytosine deoxygenase are abnormally increased in corticolimbic structures of SZ postmortem brain.
Accumulating evidence suggests that epigenetic alterations in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) promoters are associated with the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders. Epigenetic changes in BDNF were reported not only in brain tissues but also in other tissues, including peripheral blood cells (PBC) and saliva. We examined DNA methylation levels of BDNF promoters I and IV using genomic DNA derived from PBC of healthy controls (n=100), and patients with schizophrenia (n=100), all from the Japanese population, by pyrosequencing.
Schizophrenia is a heterogeneous and complex mental disorder with high rates of disability, non-recovery, and relapse. The primary pharmacological treatments for schizophrenia are antipsychotics. Notwithstanding the efficacy of antipsychotics in ameliorating positive symptoms and reducing relapse rates, cognitive deficits and negative symptoms are not sufficiently treated with available pharmaceutical agents. Moreover, schizophrenia is associated with consistent, replicable, and clinically significant deficits in cognition.
OBJECTIVE: Previous findings indicate that women with Bulimia Nervosa (BN), when compared to women with no eating disorder (NED), tend to display elevated methylation in the promoter region of the DRD2 gene. The preceding would be compatible with evidence of generally reduced dopamine activity in people with BN. However, altered DNA methylation has also been associated with adverse environmental exposures (such as to childhood abuse) and with psychiatric disturbances (such as Borderline Personality Disorder: BPD).
Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science
Memory is central to our ability to perform daily life activities and correctly function in society. Improvements in public health and medical treatment for a variety of diseases have resulted in longer life spans; however, age-related memory impairments have been significant sources of morbidity. Loss in memory function is not only associated with aging population but is also a feature of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and other psychiatric and neurological disorders.