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Epigenetic down regulation of nerve growth factor during alcohol withdrawal

Authors

  • Annemarie Heberlein,

    Corresponding author
    1. Center for Addiction Research, Department of Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical School Hanover, Germany
    2. Departments of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
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    • Both authors contributed equally.

  • Marc Muschler,

    1. Center for Addiction Research, Department of Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical School Hanover, Germany
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    • Both authors contributed equally.

  • Helge Frieling,

    1. Center for Addiction Research, Department of Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical School Hanover, Germany
    2. Departments of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
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  • Michael Behr,

    1. Departments of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
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  • Christian Eberlein,

    1. Center for Addiction Research, Department of Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical School Hanover, Germany
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  • Julia Wilhelm,

    1. Center for Addiction Research, Department of Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical School Hanover, Germany
    2. Departments of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
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  • Michael Gröschl,

    1. Pediatrics, University Hospital Erlangen, Germany
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  • Johannes Kornhuber,

    1. Departments of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
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  • Stefan Bleich,

    1. Center for Addiction Research, Department of Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical School Hanover, Germany
    2. Departments of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
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  • Thomas Hillemacher

    1. Center for Addiction Research, Department of Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical School Hanover, Germany
    2. Departments of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
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Annemarie Heberlein, Center for Addiction Research, Department of Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical School Hanover, Carl-Neuberg-Straße 1, D-30625 Hannover, Germany. E-mail: heberlein.annemarie@mh-hannover.de

ABSTRACT

We investigated the Cytosin-phosphatidyl-Guanin (CpG) island promoter methylation (mean and methylation of individual CpG-sites) of the nerve growth factor (NGF) gene in the blood of alcohol-dependent patients (57 male patients) during withdrawal (days 1, 7 and 14). Methylation and NGF serum levels did not change significantly from days 1–7. From days 7–14, mean methylation increased (F = 30.55, P < 0.001), whereas the NGF serum levels decreased significantly (days 7–14: F = 17.95, P < 0.001). The NGF serum levels were significantly associated with the mean methylation of the investigated CpG-sites (F = 1.55, P < 0.001). These results imply an epigenetic regulation of the NGF gene during alcohol withdrawal.

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