Histone deacetylases govern cellular mechanisms underlying behavioral and synaptic plasticity in the developing and adult brain

Michael J. Morris, Aroon S. Karra, Lisa M Monteggia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

59 Scopus citations


Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are a family of enzymes that alter gene expression patterns by modifying chromatin architecture. There are 11 mammalian HDACs that are classified by homology into four subfamilies, all with distinct expression patterns in the brain. Through the use of pharmacological HDAC inhibitors, and more recently HDAC knockout mice, the role of these enzymes in the central nervous system are starting to be elucidated. We will discuss the latest findings on the specific or redundant roles of individual HDACs in the brain as well as the impact of HDAC function on complex behavior, with a focus on learning, memory formation, and affective behavior. Potential HDAC-mediated cellular mechanisms underlying those behaviors are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-419
Number of pages11
JournalBehavioural Pharmacology
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010



  • chromatin
  • epigenetic
  • histone deacetylases
  • learning and memory
  • synaptic plasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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