This study aimed to determine the effect of cocaine on the development and growth of immature and adult blowflies, in an attempt to better understand the impacts of such effects on postmortem interval (PMI) estimation. Twice the lethal dose of cocaine was injected into rabbits. The control animals were injected only with saline solution. Experimental and control rabbits were autopsied, and portions of their livers were exposed to newly eclosed larvae of Chrysomya putoria and Chrysomya albiceps. Larvae were weighed individually every 6 h, up 54 h of exposure.
Glutamatergic signaling is regulated, in part, through differential expression of NMDA and AMPA/KA channel subunits and G protein-coupled metabotropic receptors. In human brain, region-specific expression patterns of glutamate receptor genes are maintained over the course of decades, suggesting a role for molecular mechanisms involved in long-term regulation of transcription, including methylation of lysine residues at histone N-terminal tails.
Methylation and other covalent modifications of nucleosome core histones are key regulators of chromatin structure and function, including epigenetic control of gene expression. For the human brain, however, very little is known about the regulation of histone modifications at specific genomic loci. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation protocols applicable to postmortem tissue are lacking, and the impact of potential confounds such as autolysis time or tissue pH is unknown.
Neurons in the human brain become postmitotic largely during prenatal development, and thus maintain their nuclei throughout the full lifespan. However, little is known about changes in neuronal chromatin and nuclear organization during the course of development and aging, or in chronic neuropsychiatric disease. However, to date most chromatin and DNA based assays (other than FISH) lack single cell resolution.
Several lines of schizophrenia (SZ) research suggest that a functional downregulation of the prefrontal cortex GABAergic neuronal system is mediated by a promoter hypermethylation, presumably catalyzed by an increase in DNA-methyltransferase-1 (DNMT-1) expression. This promoter hypermethylation may be mediated not only by DNMT-1 but also by an entire family of de novo DNA-methyltransferases, such as DNA-methyltransferase-3a (DNMT-3a) and -3b (DNMT-3b).
It has been widely speculated that epigenetic changes may play a role in the etiology of psychotic illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Epigenetics is the study of mitotically heritable, but reversible, changes in gene expression that occur without a change in the genomic DNA sequence, brought about principally through alterations in DNA methylation and chromatin structure. Although numerous studies have examined psychosis-associated gene expression changes in postmortem brain samples, epigenetic studies of psychosis are in their infancy.
INTRODUCTION: To improve the understanding of psychotic abnormalities and their non-Mendelian inheritance patterns, the epigenetic regulation of the psychotic disorder-associated GABRB2, gene for the type A ?-aminobutyric acid receptor ?(2)-subunit, was investigated. METHODS: Expression of GABRB2, and the epigenetic regulatory enzymes histone deacetylases (HDACs) and DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) in mouse and postmortem human brains was analyzed using real-time PCR.
BACKGROUND: The angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) has been repeatedly discussed as susceptibility factor for major depression (MD) and the bi-directional relation between MD and cardiovascular disorders (CVD). In this context, functional polymorphisms of the ACE gene have been linked to depression, to antidepressant treatment response, to ACE serum concentrations, as well as to hypertension, myocardial infarction and CVD risk markers.
OBJECTIVE: Epigenetic changes are stable and long-lasting chromatin modifications that regulate genomewide and local gene activity. The addition of two methyl groups to the 9th lysine of histone 3 (H3K9me2) by histone methyltransferases (HMT) leads to a restrictive chromatin state, and thus reduced levels of gene transcription. Given the numerous reports of transcriptional down-regulation of candidate genes in schizophrenia, we tested the hypothesis that this illness can be characterized by a restrictive epigenome.
INTRODUCTION: Dysfunctional serotonin signaling has been linked to the pathogenesis of autism, obsessive compulsive disorder, mood disorders and schizophrenia. While the hypo-activity of serotonin signaling is involved in the pathogenesis of depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder; LSD, an agonist of serotonin type 2 receptor (5-HTR2A) induces psychosis. Therefore, anxiety and depressive disorders are treated by SSRIs which inhibit serotonin transporter (5-HTT) while psychotic disorders are controlled by drugs that block serotonin and/or dopamine receptors.