On the potential role of active DNA demethylation in establishing epigenetic states associated with neural plasticity and memory

Neurobiol Learn Mem. 2013 Oct;105:125-32. doi: 10.1016/j.nlm.2013.06.009. Epub 2013 Jun 24.


Dynamic variations in DNA methylation regulate neuronal gene expression in an experience-dependent manner. Although DNA methylation has been implicated in synaptic plasticity, learning and memory, active DNA demethylation is also induced by learning, which suggests that an interaction between the two processes is necessary for cognitive function. Active DNA demethylation is a complex process involving a variety of proteins and epigenetic regulatory enzymes, the understanding of which with respect to its role in the adult brain is in its infancy. We here provide an overview of the current understanding of active DNA demethylation, and describe how this process may establish persistent epigenetic states that are associated with neural plasticity and memory formation.

Keywords: Active DNA demethylation; Epigenetic; Memory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Methylation / physiology*
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Neuronal Plasticity / genetics*