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Hum Mol Genet. 2012 Mar 15;21(6):1203-16. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddr552. Epub 2011 Nov 24.

Long-term memory deficits in Huntington's disease are associated with reduced CBP histone acetylase activity.

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Departament de Biologia Cellular, Immunologia i Neurociències, Facultat de Medicina, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.


Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by an expanded CAG/polyglutamine repeat in the coding region of the huntingtin (htt) gene. Although HD is classically considered a motor disorder, there is now considerable evidence that early cognitive deficits appear in patients before the onset of motor disturbances. Here we demonstrate early impairment of long-term spatial and recognition memory in heterozygous HD knock-in mutant mice (Hdh(Q7/Q111)), a genetically accurate HD mouse model. Cognitive deficits are associated with reduced hippocampal expression of CREB-binding protein (CBP) and diminished levels of histone H3 acetylation. In agreement with reduced CBP, the expression of CREB/CBP target genes related to memory, such c-fos, Arc and Nr4a2, was significantly reduced in the hippocampus of Hdh(Q7/Q111) mice compared with wild-type mice. Finally, and consistent with a role of CBP in cognitive impairment in Hdh(Q7/Q111) mice, administration of the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A rescues recognition memory deficits and transcription of selective CREB/CBP target genes in Hdh(Q7/Q111) mice. These findings demonstrate an important role for CBP in cognitive dysfunction in HD and suggest the use of histone deacetylase inhibitors as a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of memory deficits in this disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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