N6-methyladenine is an epigenetic marker of mammalian early life stress

Stacey L. Kigar, Liza Chang, Candace R Guerrero, Jacqueline R. Sehring, Amelia Cuarenta, Laurie L Parker, Vaishali P. Bakshi, Anthony P. Auger

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Recent evidence described 6-methyladenine (6 mA) as a novel epigenetic regulator in a variety of multicellular species, including rodents; however, its capacity to influence gene expression in the mammalian brain remains unknown. We examined if 6 mA is present and regulated by early life stress associated with predator odor exposure (POE) within the developing rat amygdala. Our results provide evidence that 6 mA is present in the mammalian brain, is altered within the Htr2a gene promoter by early life stress and biological sex, and increased 6 mA is associated with gene repression. These data suggest that methylation of adenosine within mammalian DNA may be used as an additional epigenetic biomarker for investigating the development of stress-induced neuropathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number18078
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


Cite this

Kigar, S. L., Chang, L., Guerrero, C. R., Sehring, J. R., Cuarenta, A., Parker, L. L., Bakshi, V. P., & Auger, A. P. (2017). N6-methyladenine is an epigenetic marker of mammalian early life stress. Scientific reports, 7(1), [18078]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-18414-7