G9a influences neuronal subtype specification in striatum.

Nature Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 14.98). 03/2014; DOI: 10.1038/nn.3670
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Cocaine-mediated repression of the histone methyltransferase (HMT) G9a has recently been implicated in transcriptional, morphological and behavioral responses to chronic cocaine administration. Here, using a ribosomal affinity purification approach, we found that G9a repression by cocaine occurred in both Drd1-expressing (striatonigral) and Drd2-expressing (striatopallidal) medium spiny neurons. Conditional knockout and overexpression of G9a within these distinct cell types, however, revealed divergent behavioral phenotypes in response to repeated cocaine treatment. Our studies further indicated that such developmental deletion of G9a selectively in Drd2 neurons resulted in the unsilencing of transcriptional programs normally specific to striatonigral neurons and in the acquisition of Drd1-associated projection and electrophysiological properties. This partial striatopallidal to striatonigral 'switching' phenotype in mice indicates a new role for G9a in contributing to neuronal subtype identity and suggests a critical function for cell type-specific histone methylation patterns in the regulation of behavioral responses to environmental stimuli.

1 Follower
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: As addiction professionals, we are becoming increasingly concerned about preteenagers and young adults' involvement with substance abuse as a way of relieving stress and anger. The turbulent underdeveloped central nervous system, especially in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), provides impetus to not only continue important neuroimaging studies in both human and animal models, but also to encourage preventive measures and cautions embraced by governmental and social media outlets. It is well known that before people reach their 20s, PFC development is undergoing significant changes and, as such, hijacks appropriate decision making in this population. We are further proposing that early genetic testing for addiction risk alleles will offer important information that could potentially be utilized by their parents and caregivers prior to use of psychoactive drugs by these youth. Understandably, family history, parenting styles, and attachment may be modified by various reward genes, including the known bonding substances oxytocin/vasopressin, which effect dopaminergic function. Well-characterized neuroimaging studies continue to reflect region-specific differential responses to drugs and food (including other non-substance-addictive behaviors) via either "surfeit" or "deficit." With this in mind, we hereby propose a "reward deficiency solution system" that combines early genetic risk diagnosis, medical monitoring, and nutrigenomic dopamine agonist modalities to combat this significant global dilemma that is preventing our youth from leading normal productive lives, which will in turn make them happier.
    Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology 04/2015; 25(4). DOI:10.1089/cap.2014.0146 · 3.07 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Acute and repeated exposure to cocaine induces long-lasting alterations in neural networks that underlie compulsive drug seeking and taking. Cocaine exposure triggers complex adaptations in the brain that are mediated by dynamic patterns of gene expression that are translated into enduring changes. Recently, epigenetic modifications have been unveiled as critical mechanisms underlying addiction that contribute to drug-induced plasticity by regulating gene expression. These alterations are also now linked to the heritability of cocaine-induced phenotypes. This review focuses on how changes in the epigenome, such as altered DNA methylation, histone modifications, and microRNAs, regulate transcription of specific genes that contribute to cocaine addiction.
    Brain Research 10/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.brainres.2014.09.069 · 2.83 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Our unique collection of memories determines our individuality and shapes our future interactions with the world. Remarkable advances into the neurobiological basis of memory have identified key epigenetic mechanisms that support the stability of memory. Various forms of epigenetic regulation at the levels of DNA methylation, histone modification, and non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) can modulate transcriptional and translational events required for memory processes. By changing the cellular profile in the brain's emotional, reward, and memory circuits, these epigenetic modifications have also been linked to perseverant, pathogenic memories. In this review, we will delve into the relevance of epigenetic dysregulation to pathogenic memory mechanisms by focusing on two neuropsychiatric disorders perpetuated by aberrant memory associations: substance use disorder (SUD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As our understanding improves, neuroepigenetic mechanisms may someday be harnessed to develop novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of these chronic, relapsing disorders.
    01/2015; 1:28-33. DOI:10.1016/j.nepig.2014.10.003