DOI: 10.3390/biom13091301 ISSN:

Suberoylanilide Hydroxamic Acid (SAHA) Is a Driver Molecule of Neuroplasticity: Implication for Neurological Diseases

Lucia Verrillo, Rosita Di Palma, Alberto de Bellis, Denise Drongitis, Maria Giuseppina Miano
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry

Neuroplasticity is a crucial property of the central nervous system to change its activity in response to intrinsic or extrinsic stimuli. This is mainly achieved through the promotion of changes in the epigenome. One of the epi-drivers priming this process is suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA or Vorinostat), a pan-histone deacetylase inhibitor that modulates and promotes neuroplasticity in healthy and disease conditions. Knowledge of the specific molecular changes induced by this epidrug is an important area of neuro-epigenetics for the identification of new compounds to treat cognition impairment and/or epilepsy. In this review, we summarize the findings obtained in cellular and animal models of various brain disorders, highlighting the multiple mechanisms activated by SAHA, such as improvement of memory, learning and behavior, and correction of faulty neuronal functioning. Supporting this evidence, in vitro and in vivo data underline how SAHA positively regulates the expression of neuronal genes and microtubule dynamics, induces neurite outgrowth and spine density, and enhances synaptic transmission and potentiation. In particular, we outline studies regarding neurodevelopmental disorders with pharmaco-resistant seizures and/or severe cognitive impairment that to date lack effective drug treatments in which SAHA could ameliorate defective neuroplasticity.

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