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J Neurosci. 2002 Oct 1;22(19):8422-8.

Altered histone acetylation at glutamate receptor 2 and brain-derived neurotrophic factor genes is an early event triggered by status epilepticus.

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Department of Pharmacology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.


The mechanisms underlying seizure-induced changes in gene expression are unclear. Using a chromatin immunoprecipitation assay, we found that acetylation of histone H4 in rat hippocampal CA3 neurons was reduced at the glutamate receptor 2 (GluR2; GRIA2) glutamate receptor promoter but increased at brain-derived neurotrophic factor promoter P2 as soon as 3 hr after induction of status epilepticus by pilocarpine. This result indicates that status epilepticus rapidly activates different signal pathways to modulate histone acetylation in a promoter-specific manner. H4 deacetylation preceded seizure-induced GluR2 mRNA downregulation. The histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A prevented and quickly reversed deacetylation of GluR2-associated histones. Trichostatin A also blunted seizure-induced downregulation of GluR2 mRNA in CA3. Thus, rapid gene-specific changes in histone acetylation patterns may be a key early step in the pathological processes triggered by status epilepticus.

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