About this Research Topic
Neural plasticity is a unique and adaptive feature of the nervous system that allows neurons to reorganize their interactions in response to stimuli (intrinsic or extrinsic) in order to maintain their function. Several extrinsic factors can alter neural functioning in organisms during their life (from embryonic development, through early development, and until aging): diet (ingestion of nutrients but also nutraceuticals like resveratrol, and chemicals like ethanol), exercise, environmental aspects (such as environmental enrichment during early development, but also the exposure to contaminants present in the environment), stressors (inducing stress-response reprograming), etc.
All of these stimuli exert their effect through some common molecular mechanisms that can be grouped together as “Epigenetic mechanisms,” involving certain molecular signaling pathways like DNA methylation, histone acetylation and deacetylation, the sirtuin pathway, and NF-κB. Therefore, epigenetic mechanisms play an important role in neural plasticity.
This Research Topic seeks to gather high-quality original research papers and review articles addressing recent advances focused on epigenetic mechanisms that influence neural plasticity, and will focus on new insights into cellular and molecular neurobiological mechanisms that underlie brain functioning by correlating the epigenetic regulation of neural plasticity. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:
Activity-dependent synaptic plasticity (epigenetically modulated)
The effects of environmental enrichment on neural plasticity
Responses to stress and effects on neural plasticity
The effects of Perinatal Reprogramming on neural plasticity
Epigenetic modifications of neural plasticity during aging
Epigenetics and neural plasticity
Dynamics of epigenetic effects during neural development
Epigenetic regulation of neural plasticity
Drugs that affect neural plasticity
The effects of physical activity and exercise on neural plasticity
The clinical relevance of epigenetic modifications on neural plasticity
The potential epigenetic impact of environmental factors on neurodevelopmental plasticity