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Frontiers in molecular neuroscience

Epigenetic Activation of ASCT2 in the Hippocampus Contributes to Depression-Like Behavior by Regulating D-Serine in Mice.


PMID 28536503

Abstract

The roles of D-serine in depression are raised concerned recently as an intrinsic co-agonist for the NMDA receptor. However, the mechanisms underlying its regulation are not fully elucidated. ASCT2 is a Na(+)-dependent D-serine transporter. We found that decreased D-serine and increased hippocampal ASCT2 levels correlated with chronic social defeat stress (CSDS) in mice. Lentivirus-mediated shRNA-mediated knockdown of ASCT2 and the administration of exogenous D-serine in the hippocampus alleviated CSDS-induced social avoidance and immobility. In vivo and in vitro experiments revealed that upregulation of ASCT2 expression in CSDS was regulated through histone hyper-acetylation, not DNA methylation in its promoter region. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated the co-localization of ASCT2 and D-serine. Uptake of D-serine by ASCT2 was demonstrated by in vivo and in vitro experiments. Our results indicate that CSDS induces ASCT2 expression through epigenetic activation and decreases hippocampal D-serine levels, leading to social avoidance, and immobility. Thus, targeting D-serine transport represents an attractive new strategy for treating depression.

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