Intermittent fasting (IF) remains the most effective intervention to achieve robust anti-aging effects and attenuation of age-related diseases in various species. Epigenetic modifications mediate the biological effects of several environmental factors on gene expression; however, no information is available on the effects of IF on the epigenome. Here, we first found that IF for 3 months caused modulation of H3K9 trimethylation (H3K9me3) in the cerebellum, which in turn orchestrated a plethora of transcriptomic changes involved in robust metabolic switching processes commonly observed during IF. Second, a portion of both the epigenomic and transcriptomic modulations induced by IF was remarkably preserved for at least 3 months post-IF refeeding, indicating that memory of IF-induced epigenetic changes was maintained. Notably, though, we found that termination of IF resulted in a loss of H3K9me3 regulation of the transcriptome. Collectively, our study characterizes the novel effects of IF on the epigenetic-transcriptomic axis, which controls myriad metabolic processes. The comprehensive analyses undertaken in this study reveal a molecular framework for understanding how IF impacts the metabolo-epigenetic axis of the brain and will serve as a valuable resource for future research.
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© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to American Aging Association.
- Intermittent fasting