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PS28P-03-228

Cognitive dysfunction and epigenetic alterations at the BDNF gene are induced by social isolation during early adolescence

[Speaker] Shao, Feng:1
[Co-author] Li, Man:1, Wang, Weiwen:2
1:Peking University (China (People's Republic of China)), 2:Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (China (People's Republic of China))

This study investigated effects of adolescent social isolation on cognitive behaviors, including prepulse inhibition (PPI) and learning ability on the Morris water maze test, and on epigenetic alterations at the BDNF gene. Male rats were randomly assigned to either group-reared or isolation-reared conditions during post-natal days (PNDs) 21-34. On PND 56, all rats underwent behavioral testing. Then the rats were sacrificed for immunohistochemical, real-time PCR and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays. Results showed that compared to the group-reared rats, the isolation-reared rats showed disrupted PPI and impaired reversal learning ability on the Morris water maze test. Regarding BDNF, the isolation-reared rats demonstrated increased BDNF protein and mRNA expression and H3 acetylation at the BDNF gene in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) compared to the group-reared rats. In contrast, the protein and mRNA levels of BDNF and H3 acetylation at the BDNF gene were decreased in the hippocampus in the isolation-reared rats.
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