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Correlation between the epigenetic modification of histone H3K9 acetylation of NR2B gene promoter in rat hippocampus and ethanol withdrawal syndrome

By Duan Li, Yanqing Zhang, Yanting Zhang, Qi Wang, Qin Miao, Yahui Xu, Jair C. Soares, Xiangyang Zhang, Ruiling Zhang

Posted 19 Oct 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/447771 (published DOI: 10.1007/s11033-019-04733-7)

Previous studies showed that an epigenetic modification of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor, especially NMDA receptor 2B subunit (NR2B), was involved in the pathological process of ethanol withdrawal syndrome (EWS). However, the relationship between the epigenetic regulation of the NR2B gene in the rat hippocampus region and EWS were inconsistent. A rat model of chronic ethanol exposure was established. EWS score and the behavioral changes were recorded at different points in time. The NR2B expression levels and the histone H3K9 acetylation level in the NR2B gene promoter region were measured using qRT-PCR, Western blot, immunofluorescence and chromatin immunoprecipitation, respectively. Finally, the relationships between the epigenetic modification of histone H3K9 acetylation of NR2B gene promoter and EWS were examined. Our results showed that the EWS score was increased at 2 h, peaked at 6 h after withdrawal of ethanol, and reduced to the level parallel to the normal control group at day 3 after ethanol withdrawal. The NR2B mRNA expression and protein levels showed similar patterns. Further correlation analyses indicted that both histone H3K9 acetylation in NR2B gene promoter and the expression levels of NR2B were positively associated with EWS. Chronic ethanol exposure may result in epigenetic modification of histone H3K9 acetylation in NR2B gene promoter in rat hippocampus, and the expression levels of NR2B were found to be positively correlated with EWS.

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