Supplementary Material for: DNA Methylation of the Leptin Gene Promoter is Altered by Chronic Alcohol Exposure in an Animal Model for Alcohol Dependence

Appetite-regulating peptides, such as leptin, are linked to craving and have been in the focus of alcohol dependence research for years. The objective of our study was to investigate the dynamics of leptin gene promoter methylation during alcohol withdrawal and specific treatment in a rodent (rat) model for alcohol dependence. DNA methylation was measured using direct bisulfite sequencing at 0 h, 24 h, and 6 days of alcohol withdrawal as well as after treatment with alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH), Beta-Endorphin, or saline. We found significantly lower methylation levels in alcohol-consuming animals compared to alcohol-naïve animals. During 6 days of alcohol deprivation, this difference in methylation vanished. Leptin methylation of the alpha-MSH-treated group and 6 days alcohol-deprived animals was significantly higher than that in saline-treated animals, possibly indicating compensatory effects of the treatment. Our results further expand on previous findings from human studies that explain leptin’s role in bridging the gap between alcohol consumption and appetite regulation.