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Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2009 Feb;30(2):55-60. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2008 Dec 26.

Characterization of the action of antipsychotic subtypes on valproate-induced chromatin remodeling.

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Psychiatric Institute, Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1601 Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.


Recent advances in schizophrenia (SZ) research indicate that the telencephalic gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic neurotransmission deficit associated with this psychiatric disorder probably is mediated by the hypermethylation of the glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 (GAD(67)), reelin and other GABAergic promoters. A pharmacological strategy to reduce the hypermethylation of GABAergic promoters is to induce a DNA-cytosine demethylation by altering the chromatin remodeling with valproate (VPA). When co-administered with VPA, the clinical efficacy of atypical antipsychotics is enhanced. This prompted us to investigate whether this increase in drug efficacy is related to a modification of GABAergic-promoter methylation via chromatin remodeling. Our previous and present results strongly indicate that VPA facilitates chromatin remodeling when it is associated with clozapine or sulpiride but not with haloperidol or olanzapine. This remodeling might contribute to reelin- and GAD(67)-promoter demethylation and might reverse the GABAergic-gene-expression downregulation associated with SZ morbidity.

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