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The Histone H3 K4me3, K27me3, and K27ac Genome-Wide Distributions Are Differently Influenced by Sex in Brain Cortexes and Gastrocnemius of the Alzheimer’s Disease PSAPP Mouse Model



Women represent the majority of Alzheimer's disease patients and show typical symptoms. Genetic, hormonal, and behavioral mechanisms have been proposed to explain sex differences in dementia prevalence. However, whether sex differences exist in the epigenetic landscape of neuronal tissue during the progression of the disease is still unknown.


To investigate the differences of histone H3 modifications involved in transcription, we determined the genome-wide profiles of H3K4me3, H3K27ac, and H3K27me3 in brain cortexes of an Alzheimer mouse model (PSAPP). Gastrocnemius muscles were also tested since they are known to be different in the two sexes and are affected during the disease progression.


Correlation analysis distinguished the samples based on sex for H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 but not for H3K27ac. The analysis of transcription starting sites (TSS) signal distribution, and analysis of bounding sites revealed that gastrocnemius is more influenced than brain by sex for the three histone modifications considered, exception made for H3K27me3 distribution on the X chromosome which showed sex-related differences in promoters belonging to behavior and cellular or neuronal spheres in mice cortexes.


H3K4me3, H3K27ac, and H3K27me3 signals are slightly affected by sex in brain, with the exception of H3K27me3, while a higher number of differences can be found in gastrocnemius.

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