DNA methylation profiling in the thalamus and hippocampus of postnatal malnourished mice, including effects related to long-term potentiation.
Weng et al (2014) conducted research on young mice to examine how extensively DNA methylation within the brain is regulated by nutrition early in life. The post natal brain exhibit stimulus-induced methylation changes due to their environment, lifestyle and diet. The thalamus and hippocampus of malnourished mice were compared to the brains of normal mice, with the two regions showing differences in their levels of DNA methylation. 500 variations of gene methylation were found in the thalamus, with 60% of these variations relating to neuronal development and psychiatric disease. This shows the DNA methylation status of parts of the brain can differ, and is affected by malnutrition from a young age. This also highlights malnutrition from a young age may increase the risk of psychiatric disorders.