All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Sarah M Clinton

Advisory Committee Members

Rita Cowell

Laura Stoppelbein

David Sweatt

Linda Wadiche

Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2013

Degree Name by School

Master of Science (MS) Heersink School of Medicine

Abstract

Epigenetic mechanisms provide a critical and plausible mechanism by which genes and the environment can interact and have been implicated in a number of diseases and disorders. In order to better understand how epigenetic mechanisms go awry in a diseased brain we must first understand how epigenetic mechanisms unfold during normal development. The present body of work begins to examine the role of DNA methylation in normal development and how it may contribute to a rodent model of emotion dysfunction. Using a variety of techniques, we evaluated the transcript, protein and functional output levels of DNA methyltransferase1, -3a, and -3b during several developmental timepoints in the hippocampus, amygdala and several other brain areas of normal rats as well as bred high novelty responding rats and bred low novelty responding rats. Our results lay an important foundation, paving the way for a series of new experiments that can investigate what happens when epigenetic processes go awry during critical neurodevelopmental periods.

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