Introduction: The inhibition of the Histone Deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) increases tubulin acetylation, thus stimulating intracellular vesicle trafficking and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) release, that is, cellular processes markedly reduced in Huntington's disease (HD).
Methods: We therefore tested that reducing HDAC6 levels by genetic manipulation would attenuate early cognitive and behavioral deficits in R6/1 mice, a mouse model which develops progressive HD-related phenotypes.
Results: In contrast to our initial hypothesis, the genetic deletion of HDAC6 did not reduce the weight loss or the deficits in cognitive abilities and nest-building behavior shown by R6/1 mice, and even worsened their social impairments, hypolocomotion in the Y-maze, and reduced ultrasonic vocalizations.
Conclusions: These results weaken the validity of HDAC6 reduction as a possible therapeutic strategy for HD. The data are discussed in terms of additional cellular consequences and anatomical specificity of HDAC6 that could explain these unexpected effects.
Keywords: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor; cognitive behavior; epigenetics.