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Cell Rep. 2018 Apr 10;23(2):546-554. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.03.059.

RNA-Dependent Intergenerational Inheritance of Enhanced Synaptic Plasticity after Environmental Enrichment.

Author information

1
Department for Epigenetics and Systems Medicine in Neurodegenerative Diseases, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) Göttingen, von Siebold Strasse 3A, 37075 Göttingen, Germany.
2
Trans-synaptic Signaling Group, European Neuroscience Institute, Grisebachstrasse 5, 37077 Göttingen, Germany.
3
Department for Epigenetics and Systems Medicine in Neurodegenerative Diseases, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) Göttingen, von Siebold Strasse 3A, 37075 Göttingen, Germany; Bioinformatics Unit, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) Göttingen, von Siebold Strasse 3A, 37075 Göttingen, Germany.
4
German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Munich, Feodor Lynen Strasse 17, 81377 Munich, Germany.
5
Department for Epigenetics and Systems Medicine in Neurodegenerative Diseases, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) Göttingen, von Siebold Strasse 3A, 37075 Göttingen, Germany; Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center Göttingen, Von Siebold Strasse 5, 37075 Göttingen, Germany. Electronic address: andre.fischer@dzne.de.

Abstract

Physical exercise in combination with cognitive training is known to enhance synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory and lower the risk for various complex diseases including Alzheimer's disease. Here, we show that exposure of adult male mice to an environmental enrichment paradigm leads to enhancement of synaptic plasticity and cognition also in the next generation. We show that this effect is mediated through sperm RNA and especially miRs 212/132. In conclusion, our study reports intergenerational inheritance of an acquired cognitive benefit and points to specific miRs as candidates mechanistically involved in this type of transmission.

KEYWORDS:

brain; cognition; environmental enrichment; epigenetics; exercise; intergenerational; memory; microRNA; transgenerational

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