European neuropsychopharmacology : the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology

An epigenetic intervention interacts with genetic strain differences to modulate the stress-induced reduction of flurazepam's antiseizure efficacy in the mouse.

PMID 19189880


Stress induces changes in the endogenous tone of both GABA and NMDA receptor-mediated neurotransmission in the intact mouse. Because changes are observed 24 h after stress, epigenetically-regulated alterations in gene expression may mediate these effects. In earlier work, sodium butyrate, a centrally-active histone deacetylase inhibitor that promotes gene expression, was shown to modulate the stress-induced reduction of the ability of MK-801 (dizocilpine), a noncompetitive NMDA receptor antagonist, to antagonize electrically-precipitated seizures. In the current study, we extended this work to look at sodium butyrate's modulatory effect on stress-induced changes in the antiseizure efficacy of flurazepam, a benzodiazepine receptor agonist, in two strains of mice. Epigenetic mechanisms, genetic strain differences and a standard stress interacted to alter flurazepam's antiseizure efficacy. These data support examination and development of epigenetic treatment strategies.

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