Journal of Neural Transmission

, Volume 116, Issue 5, pp 615–622

N-methyl-d-aspartate 2b receptor subtype (NR2B) promoter methylation in patients during alcohol withdrawal

Authors

    • Department of Psychiatry and PsychotherapyUniversity Hospital of Erlangen
  • Udo Reulbach
    • Department of Psychiatry and PsychotherapyUniversity Hospital of Erlangen
    • Department of Epidemiology and Public HealthUniversity College Cork
  • Bernd Lenz
    • Department of Psychiatry and PsychotherapyUniversity Hospital of Erlangen
  • Helge Frieling
    • Department of Psychiatry and PsychotherapyUniversity Hospital of Erlangen
  • Marc Muschler
    • Department of Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry and PsychotherapyMedical School of Hanover
  • Thomas Hillemacher
    • Department of Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry and PsychotherapyMedical School of Hanover
  • Johannes Kornhuber
    • Department of Psychiatry and PsychotherapyUniversity Hospital of Erlangen
  • Stefan Bleich
    • Department of Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry and PsychotherapyMedical School of Hanover
Basic Neurosciences, Genetics and Immunology - Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00702-009-0212-2

Cite this article as:
Biermann, T., Reulbach, U., Lenz, B. et al. J Neural Transm (2009) 116: 615. doi:10.1007/s00702-009-0212-2

Abstract

NMDA receptors and especially the NR2B receptor subtype play a crucial role during chronic ethanol consumption and alcohol withdrawal. Therefore, the NR2B receptor subtype expression in peripheral blood cells of 32 male patients suffering from alcohol dependency were assessed through quantitative RT-PCR and to explore regulating epigenetic mechanisms, a methylation analysis was conducted using bisulfite sequencing of a fragment of the NR2B promoter region. The expression of the NR2B receptor increased significantly during the first 24 h of withdrawal treatment (day 1; t = 4.1, P = 0.001), and also on and day 3 (t = 2.4; P = 0.029). The severity of alcohol drinking pattern, measured by lifetime drinking and daily ethanol intake, was negatively correlated with the methylation of a defined cluster of five CPG-sites within the NR2B promoter (lifetime drinking: Spearman’s rho = −0.55; P = 0.013; daily ethanol intake: rho = −0.46; P = 0.043). These findings might explain the observation of an impact of alcohol consumption patterns on the gravity of withdrawal symptoms.

Keywords

Alcoholism NR2B receptor DNA methylation mRNA Alcohol withdrawal

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009