Engrampigenetics: Epigenetics of engram memory cells.

Abstract

For long time, the epidemiology of late-onset sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk factors has centered on adult life-style. Recent studies have, instead, focused on the role of early life experiences in progression of such disease especially in the context of prenatal and postnatal life. Although no single unfavorable environmental event has been shown to be neither necessary nor sufficient for AD development, it is possible that the sum of several environmentally induced effects, over time, contribute to its pathophysiology through epigenetic mechanisms. Indeed, epigenetic changes are influenced by environmental factors and have been proposed to play a role in multifactorial pathologies such as AD. At the same time, recent findings suggest that epigenetic mechanisms are one method that neurons use to translate transient stimuli into stable memories. Thus, the characteristics of epigenetics being a critical link between the environment and genes and playing a crucial role in memory formation make candidate epigenetic mechanisms a natural substrate for AD research. Indeed, independent groups have reported several epigenetically dysregulated genes in AD models; however, the role of epigenetic mechanisms in AD has remained elusive owing to contradictory results. Here, I propose that restricting the analysis of epigenetic changes specifically to subpopulations of neurons (namely, engram memory cells) might be helpful in understanding the role of the epigenetic process in the memory-related specific epigenetic code and might constitute a new template for therapeutic interventions against AD.

DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2016.11.043

Cite this paper

@article{Ripoli2017EngrampigeneticsEO, title={Engrampigenetics: Epigenetics of engram memory cells.}, author={Cristian Ripoli}, journal={Behavioural brain research}, year={2017}, volume={325 Pt B}, pages={297-302} }