Prenatal deletion of DNA methyltransferase 1 in neural stem cells impairs neurogenesis and causes anxiety-like behavior in adulthood

Neurogenesis (Austin). 2016 Sep 9;3(1):e1232679. doi: 10.1080/23262133.2016.1232679. eCollection 2016.


Despite recent advances in our understanding of epigenetic regulation of central nervous system development, little is known regarding the effects of epigenetic dysregulation on neurogenesis and brain function in adulthood. In the present study, we show that prenatal deletion of DNA methyltransferase 1 (Dnmt1) in neural stem cells results in impaired neurogenesis as well as increases in inflammatory features (e.g., elevated glial fibrillary acidic protein [GFAP] expression in astrocytes and increased numbers of microglia) in the adult mouse brain. Moreover, these mice exhibited anxiety-like behavior during an open-field test. These findings suggest that Dnmt1 plays a critical role in regulating neurogenesis and behavior in the developing brain and into adulthood.

Keywords: Dnmt1; anxiety; dentate gyrus; hippocampus; neurogenesis.