Social deficits in Shank3-deficient mouse models of autism are rescued by histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibition.

Nat Neurosci. 2018 Mar 12;:

Authors: Qin L, Ma K, Wang ZJ, Hu Z, Matas E, Wei J, Yan Z

Abstract
Haploinsufficiency of the SHANK3 gene is causally linked to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and ASD-associated genes are also enriched for chromatin remodelers. Here we found that brief treatment with romidepsin, a highly potent class I histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, alleviated social deficits in Shank3-deficient mice, which persisted for ~3 weeks. HDAC2 transcription was upregulated in these mice, and knockdown of HDAC2 in prefrontal cortex also rescued their social deficits. Nuclear localization of β-catenin, a Shank3-binding protein that regulates cell adhesion and transcription, was increased in Shank3-deficient mice, which induced HDAC2 upregulation and social deficits. At the downstream molecular level, romidepsin treatment elevated the expression and histone acetylation of Grin2a and actin-regulatory genes and restored NMDA-receptor function and actin filaments in Shank3-deficient mice. Taken together, these findings highlight an epigenetic mechanism underlying social deficits linked to Shank3 deficiency, which may suggest potential therapeutic strategies for ASD patients bearing SHANK3 mutations.

PMID: 29531362 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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