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Epigenetic processes play a key role in the central nervous system and altered levels of 5-methylcytosine have been associated with a number of neurologic phenotypes, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). Recently, 3 additional cytosine modifications have been identified (5-hydroxymethylcytosine, 5-formylcytosine, and 5-carboxylcytosine), which are thought to be intermediate steps in the demethylation of 5-methylcytosine to unmodified cytosine. Little is known about the frequency of these modifications in the human brain during health or disease. In this study, we used immunofluorescence to confirm the presence of each modification in human brain and investigate their cross-tissue abundance in AD patients and elderly control samples. We identify a significant AD-associated decrease in global 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in entorhinal cortex and cerebellum, and differences in 5-formylcytosine levels between brain regions. Our study further implicates a role for epigenetic alterations in AD.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2014.02.002

Type

Journal article

Journal

Neurobiol Aging

Publication Date

08/2014

Volume

35

Pages

1850 - 1854

Keywords

5-caC, 5-carboxylcytosine, 5-fC, 5-formylcytosine, 5-hmC, 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, 5-mC, 5-methylcytosine, Alzheimer's disease, Brain, DNA methylation, Epigenetics, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Alzheimer Disease, Brain, Cytosine, Epigenesis, Genetic, Female, Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Humans, Ivermectin, Male, Methylation