A team at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has found that a PET radiotracer they developed can reveal epigenetic activity within the human brain. The team explained in a report published in Science Translational Medicine that a specific radiochemical called Martinostat can reveal the expression levels of epigenetics-regulating enzymes in the brain.
“The ability to image the epigenetic machinery in the human brain can provide a way to begin understanding interactions between genes and the environment,” said Jacob Hooker of the Martinos Center, senior author of the report. “This could allow us to investigate questions such as why some people genetically predisposed to a disease are protected from it. Why [do] events during early life and adolescence have such a lasting impact on brain health? Is it possible to ‘reset’ gene expression in the human brain?” Read more.