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Epigenetic mechanisms in cerebral ischemia.


ABSTRACT: Treatment efficacy for ischemic stroke represents a major challenge. Despite fundamental advances in the understanding of stroke etiology, therapeutic options to improve functional recovery remain limited. However, growing knowledge in the field of epigenetics has dramatically changed our understanding of gene regulation in the last few decades. According to the knowledge gained from animal models, the manipulation of epigenetic players emerges as a highly promising possibility to target diverse neurologic pathologies, including ischemia. By altering transcriptional regulation, epigenetic modifiers can exert influence on all known pathways involved in the complex course of ischemic disease development. Beneficial transcriptional effects range from attenuation of cell death, suppression of inflammatory processes, and enhanced blood flow, to the stimulation of repair mechanisms and increased plasticity. Most striking are the results obtained from pharmacological inhibition of histone deacetylation in animal models of stroke. Multiple studies suggest high remedial qualities even upon late administration of histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi). In this review, the role of epigenetic mechanisms, including histone modifications as well as DNA methylation, is discussed in the context of known ischemic pathways of damage, protection, and regeneration.

SUBMITTER: Schweizer S 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3764391 | BioStudies | 2013-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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