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Clin Genet. 2010 Oct;78(4):321-33. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-0004.2010.01503.x.

Hippocampus development and function: role of epigenetic factors and implications for cognitive disease.

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Regenerative Medicine Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada.


The hippocampus is a primary region of the brain controlling the formation of memories and learned behaviours. The ability to learn or form a memory requires a neuron to translate a transient signal into gene expression changes that have a long-lasting effect on synapse activity and connectivity. Numerous studies over the past decade have detailed changes in epigenetic modifications under various learning paradigms to support a role for chromatin remodelling in these processes. Moreover, the identification of mutations in epigenetic regulators as the cause of mental retardation or intellectual disability (MR/ID) disorders further strengthens their importance to learning and memory. Animal models for many of these disorders are emerging and advancing our understanding of the molecular mechanisms linking epigenetic regulation and cognitive function. Here, we review how chromatin remodelling proteins implicated in MR/ID contribute to the development of the hippocampus and memory formation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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