Journal of Molecular Neuroscience

, Volume 63, Issue 2, pp 185–197 | Cite as

Single-Base Resolution Mapping of 5-Hydroxymethylcytosine Modifications in Hippocampus of Alzheimer’s Disease Subjects

  • Elizabeth M. Ellison
  • Melissa A. Bradley-Whitman
  • Mark A. LovellEmail author


Epigenetic modifications to cytosine have been shown to regulate transcription in cancer, embryonic development, and recently neurodegeneration. While cytosine methylation studies are now common in neurodegenerative research, hydroxymethylation studies are rare, particularly genome-wide mapping studies. As an initial study to analyze 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) in the Alzheimer’s disease (AD) genome, reduced representation hydroxymethylation profiling (RRHP) was used to analyze more than 2 million sites of possible modification in hippocampal DNA of sporadic AD and normal control subjects. Genes with differentially hydroxymethylated regions were filtered based on previously published microarray data for altered gene expression in hippocampal DNA of AD subjects. Our data show significant pathways for altered levels of 5-hmC in the hippocampus of AD subjects compared to age-matched normal controls involved in signaling, energy metabolism, cell function, gene expression, protein degradation, and cell structure and stabilization. Overall, our data suggest a possible role for the dysregulation of epigenetic modifications to cytosine in late stage AD.


5-Hydroxymethylcytosine Alzheimer’s disease Hippocampus Epigenetics 



This research was supported by National Institutes of Health grant P30-AG028383 and by a grant from the office of the Vice President for Research of the University of Kentucky. The authors thank the UK-ADC Biostatistics Core for subject data and Ms. Paula Thomason for editorial assistance.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.Sanders-Brown Center on AgingUniversity of KentuckyLexingtonUSA

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