Background: Previous studies have implicated histone deacetylases (HDACs) and HDAC inhibitors (HDIs) such as trichostatin A (TSA) in the regulation of gene expression during drug addiction. Furthermore, an increase in HDAC activity has been linked to neurodegeneration. Alcohol has also been shown to promote abundant generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) resulting in oxidative stress. TSA inhibits HDACs and has been shown to be neuroprotective in other neurodegenerative disease models. Although HDACs and HDIs have been associated with drug addiction, there is no evidence of the neurodegenerative role of HDAC2 and neuroprotective role of TSA in alcohol addiction. Therefore, we hypothesize that alcohol modulates HDAC2 through mechanisms involving oxidative stress.
Methods: To test our hypothesis, the human neuronal cell line, SK-N-MC, was treated with different concentrations of ethanol (EtOH); HDAC2 gene and protein expression were assessed at different time points. Pharmacological inhibition of HDAC2 with TSA was evaluated at the gene level using qRT-PCR and at the protein level using Western blot and flow cytometry. ROS production was measured with a fluorescence microplate reader and fluorescence microscopy.
Results: Our results showed a dose-dependent increase in HDAC2 expression with EtOH treatment. Additionally, alcohol significantly induced ROS, and pharmacological inhibition of HDAC2 with TSA was shown to be neuroprotective by significantly inhibiting HDAC2 and ROS.
Conclusions: These results suggest that EtOH can upregulate HDAC2 through mechanisms involving oxidative stress and HDACs may play an important role in alcohol use disorders (AUDs). Moreover, the use of HDIs may be of therapeutic significance for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders including AUDs.
Copyright © 2011 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.