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Nature. 2007 May 10;447(7141):178-82. Epub 2007 Apr 29.

Recovery of learning and memory is associated with chromatin remodelling.

Author information

  • 1Picower Institute for Learning and Memory, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139, USA. andre.fischer@mpi-mail.mpg.de

Abstract

Neurodegenerative diseases of the central nervous system are often associated with impaired learning and memory, eventually leading to dementia. An important aspect in pre-clinical research is the exploration of strategies to re-establish learning ability and access to long-term memories. By using a mouse model that allows temporally and spatially restricted induction of neuronal loss, we show here that environmental enrichment reinstated learning behaviour and re-established access to long-term memories after significant brain atrophy and neuronal loss had already occurred. Environmental enrichment correlated with chromatin modifications (increased histone-tail acetylation). Moreover, increased histone acetylation by inhibitors of histone deacetylases induced sprouting of dendrites, an increased number of synapses, and reinstated learning behaviour and access to long-term memories. These data suggest that inhibition of histone deacetylases might be a suitable therapeutic avenue for neurodegenerative diseases associated with learning and memory impairment, and raises the possibility of recovery of long-term memories in patients with dementia.

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PMID:
17468743
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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