Acute stress leaves epigenetic marks on the hippocampus

November 25, 2009 | Source:

A single 30-minute episode of acute stress causes histone methylation (modification of certain amino acids), in the rat hippocampus, causing changes in expression of genes (turning them on or off) that are packaged by the histones, Rockefeller University researchers have found.

The discovery of such epigenetic regulation of genes in the brain is helping change the way scientists think about psychiatric disorders and could open new avenues to treatment.