Navigation Links
Brain DNA 'remodeled' in alcoholism
Date:4/2/2008

Reshaping of the DNA scaffolding that supports and controls the expression of genes in the brain may play a major role in the alcohol withdrawal symptoms, particularly anxiety, that make it so difficult for alcoholics to stop using alcohol.

The finding is reported by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in the April 2 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

DNA can undergo changes in function without any changes in inheritance or coded sequence. These "epigenetic" changes are minor chemical modifications of chromatin -- dense bundles of DNA and proteins called histones.

"This is the first time anyone has looked for epigenetic changes related to chromatin remodeling in the brain during alcohol addiction," said Dr. Subhash C. Pandey, professor and director of neuroscience alcoholism research at the UIC College of Medicine and the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago, the lead author of the study.

Chemical modification of histones can change the way DNA and histones are wound up together. Histone acetyltransferases (HATs) are enzymes that add acetyl groups to histones and loosen the packing, promoting gene expression. On the other hand, histone deacetylases (HDACs) remove acetyl groups from histones, causing them to wrap with DNA more tightly, decreasing gene expression.

The UIC researchers had previously shown in an animal model that levels of neuropeptide Y in the amygdala modulate anxiety and alcohol-drinking behavior. In the new study, they looked at the HDAC activity, acetylation of histones, and expression of the genes for NPY in the amygdala and the anxiety-like behaviors associated with withdrawal from chronic alcohol use.

Pandey and his colleagues found that acute exposure to alcohol decreases HDAC activity; increases the acetylation histones; increases levels of NPY -- and reduced anxiety in the animals.

Conversely, anxiety-like behaviors during withdrawal in animals with chronic alcohol exposure was associated with an increase in HDAC activity and decrease in histones acetylation and NPY levels.

Importantly, blocking the observed increase in HDAC activity using an HDAC inhibitor during alcohol withdrawal brought up histone acetylation and NPY expression levels in the amygdala and prevented the development of anxiety-like behaviors.

"Our findings suggest that HDAC inhibitors may have potential as therapeutic agents in treating alcoholism," Pandey said.

The researchers also found that levels of a protein known as CREB binding protein, which has HAT enzymatic activity, were increased by acute alcohol but were decreased during ethanol withdrawal.

They concluded that the enzymes that are involved in remodeling of chromatin play an important role in the anxiety that accompanies alcohol withdrawal as well as in the anti-anxiety effects of acute alcohol use.

"We need new strategies to treat alcoholism that are directed toward the prevention of withdrawal symptoms," Pandey said. "Anxiety associated with withdrawal from alcohol abuse is a key factor in the maintenance of alcohol addiction."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jeanne Galatzer-Levy
jgala@uic.edu
312-996-1583
University of Illinois at Chicago
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Draining away brains toxic protein to stop Alzheimers
2. Vision restoration therapy shown to improve brain activity in brain injured patients
3. Clinical depression linked to abnormal emotional brain circuits
4. Brain imaging reveals breakdown of normal emotional processing
5. Brain cells work differently than previously thought
6. Vaccine Stops Alzheimers Brain Tangles
7. Research may unlock mystery of autisms origin in the brain
8. Scientists Spot Brains Free Will Center
9. Free will takes flight: how our brains respond to an approaching menace
10. Alcoholics With Cirrhosis Have More Brain Damage
11. Brain Lesions Predict MS Progression
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... ... the integration of Microsoft(R) Word(TM) Online(TM), which enables sleep physicians to create and ... streamlines the reporting process and provides a familiar interface that does not require ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... Pass, OR (PRWEB) , ... April 28, 2017 ... ... Ijose, http://www.foodsthathealdaily.com , http://www.wiredlifesolutions.com , “Computers are everywhere and they’re ... Hour Power of Water, Global Climate Change and Your Health on Voice America ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... The Texas Cord Blood ... to the labor and delivery team at Women’s Hospital at Renaissance in Edinburg for ... birth at the hospital and decide to donate. , “Women’s Hospital at Renaissance ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at The House of Yahweh in Abilene, Texas, has ... which He does not. Yisrayl says with so many titles and names for the ... he says with a little Scripture, backed with a lot of research, the truth is ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... , ... NuevaCare, a leading home care agency based in San Mateo, California, ... proud to announce information upgrades to its blog in the form of WordPress tags. ... such as home care (generally) as well as senior care and home care agency ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/19/2017)... , April 19, 2017  Novartis today ... the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) ... that 58% of patients with treatment-naïve severe aplastic ... when treated with eltrombopag at the initiation of ... The study evaluated three sequential treatment groups, or ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... DUBLIN, Ohio , April 18, 2017  Cardinal ... its Non-GAAP 1 fiscal 2017 earnings per share ... 2018 and 2019.  This is in conjunction with this ... Care, Deep Vein Thrombosis and Nutritional Insufficiency businesses. ... EPS from continuing operations will be at the bottom ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... Viverae ® , a leader in workplace ... IBM ® Watson Campaign Automation, implementing behavioral messaging ... a personalized experience. Through digital engagement, the platform prompts ... real time. The enhanced experience drives engagement by focusing ... they are in their journey to health. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: