Progress in molecular biology and translational science, 2014, Vol.128, pp.89-101
Based on postmortem brain studies, our overarching epigenetic hypothesis is that chronic schizophrenia (SZ) is a psychopathological condition involving dysregulation of the dynamic equilibrium among DNA methylation/demethylation network components and the expression of SZ target genes, including GABAergic and glutamatergic genes. SZ has a natural course, starting with a prodromal phase, a first episode that occurs in adolescents or in young adults, and later deterioration over the adult years. Hence, the epigenetic status at each neurodevelopmental stage of the disease cannot be studied just in postmortem brain of chronic SZ patients, but requires the use of neurodevelopmental animal models. We have directed the focus of our research toward studying the epigenetic signature of the SZ brain in the offspring of dams stressed during pregnancy (PRS mice). Adult PRS mice have behavioral deficits reminiscent of behaviors observed in psychotic patients. The adult PRS brain, like that of postmortem chronic SZ patients, is characterized by a significant increase in DNA methyltransferase 1, Tet methylcytosine dioxygenase 1 (TET1), 5-methylcytosine, and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine at SZ candidate gene promoters and a reduction in the expression of glutamatergic and GABAergic genes. In PRS mice, measurements of epigenetic biomarkers for SZ can be assessed at different stages of development with the goal of further elucidating the pathophysiology of this disease and predicting treatment responses at specific stages of the illness, with particular attention to early detection and possibly early intervention.
Bdnf ; Clozapine ; DNA Demethylase ; DNA Methyltransferase ; Gad1 ; Prenatally Stressed Mice ; Reln ; S-Adenosylmethionine ; Schizophrenia ; Valproic Acid ; Disease Models, Animal ; Epigenesis, Genetic ; Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects -- Genetics ; Psychotic Disorders -- Genetics ; Stress, Psychological -- Genetics
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