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Nat Neurosci. 2010 Jun;13(6):664-6. doi: 10.1038/nn.2560. Epub 2010 May 23.

Cortical DNA methylation maintains remote memory.

Author information

1
Department of Neurobiology and Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, Birmingham, Alabama, USA. cmiller@scripps.edu

Abstract

A behavioral memory's lifetime represents multiple molecular lifetimes, suggesting the necessity for a self-perpetuating signal. One candidate is DNA methylation, a transcriptional repression mechanism that maintains cellular memory throughout development. We found that persistent, gene-specific cortical hypermethylation was induced in rats by a single, hippocampus-dependent associative learning experience and pharmacologic inhibition of methylation 1 month after learning disrupted remote memory. We propose that the adult brain utilizes DNA methylation to preserve long-lasting memories.

PMID:
20495557
PMCID:
PMC3043549
DOI:
10.1038/nn.2560
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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