Young, but not adult, fragile X mental retardation gene (Fmr1) knockout (KO) mice display audiogenic seizures (AGS) that can be prevented by inhibiting extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2) phosphorylation. In order to identify the cerebral regions involved in these phenomena, we characterized the response to AGS in Fmr1 KO mice and wild type (WT) controls at postnatal day (P) 45 and P90. To characterize the diverse response to AGS in various cerebral regions, we evaluated the activity markers FosB/?FosB and phosphorylated ERK1/2 (p-ERK1/2). Wild running (100% of tested mice) followed by clonic/tonic seizures (30%) were observed in P45 Fmr1 KO mice, but not in WT mice. In P90 Fmr1 KO mice, wild running was only present in 25% of tested animals. Basal FosB/?FosB immunoreactivity was higher (P < 0.01 vs. WT) in the CA1 and subiculum of P45 Fmr1 KO mice. Following the AGS test, FosB/?FosB expression consistently increased in most of the analyzed regions in both groups at P45, but not at P90. Interestingly, FosB/?FosB immunoreactivity was significantly higher in P45 Fmr1 KO mice in the medial geniculate body (P < 0.05 vs. WT) and CA3 (P < 0.01). Neurons presenting with immunopositivity to p-ERK1/2 were more abundant in the subiculum of Fmr1 KO mice in control condition (P < 0.05 vs. WT, in both age groups). In this region, p-ERK1/2-immunopositive cells significantly decreased (-75%, P < 0.01) in P90 Fmr1 KO mice exposed to the AGS test, but no changes were found in P45 mice or in other brain regions. In both age groups of WT mice, p-ERK1/2-immunopositive cells increased in the subiculum after exposure to the acoustic test. Our findings illustrate that FosB/?FosB markers are overexpressed in the medial geniculate body and CA3 in Fmr1 KO mice experiencing AGS, and that p-ERK1/2 is markedly decreased in the subiculum of Fmr1 KO mice resistant to AGS induction. These findings suggest that resilience to AGS is associated with dephosphorylation of p-ERK1/2 in the subiculum of mature Fmr1 KO mice.
In models of status epilepticus ghrelin displays neuroprotective effects mediated by the growth hormone secretagogue-receptor 1a (GHS-R1a). This activity may be explained by anticonvulsant properties that, however, are controversial. We further investigated neuroprotection and the effects on seizures by comparing ghrelin with a more effective GHS-R1a agonist, JMV-1843. Rats were treated either with ghrelin, JMV-1843 or saline 10 min before pilocarpine, which was used to induce status epilepticus. Status epilepticus, developed in all rats, was attenuated by diazepam. No differences were observed among the various groups in the characteristics of pilocarpine-induced seizures. In saline group the area of lesion, characterized by lack of glial fibrillary acidic protein immunoreactivity, was of 0.45 ± 0.07 mm(2) in the hippocampal stratum lacunosum-moleculare, and was accompanied by upregulation of laminin immunostaining, and by increased endothelin-1 expression. Both ghrelin (P<0.05) and JMV-1843 (P<0.01) were able to reduce the area of loss in glial fibrillary acidic protein immunostaining. In addition, JMV-1843 counteracted (P<0.05) the changes in laminin and endothelin-1 expression, both increased in ghrelin-treated rats. JMV-1843 was able to ameliorate neuronal survival in the hilus of dentate gyrus and medial entorhinal cortex layer III (P<0.05 vs saline and ghrelin groups). These results demonstrate diverse protective effects of growth hormone secretagogues in rats exposed to status epilepticus.
Carisbamate (CRS) exhibits broad acute anticonvulsant activity in conventional anticonvulsant screens, genetic models of absence epilepsy and audiogenic seizures, and chronic spontaneous motor seizures arising after chemoconvulsant-induced status epilepticus. In add-on phase III trials with pharmacoresistant patients CRS induced < 30% average decreases in partial-onset seizure frequency. We assessed the antiepileptogenic and antiepileptic performance of subchronic CRS administration on posttraumatic epilepsy (PTE) induced by rostral parasaggital fluid percussion injury (rpFPI), which closely replicates human contusive closed head injury. Studies were blind and randomized, and treatment effects were assessed on the basis of sensitive electrocorticography (ECoG) recordings. Antiepileptogenic effects were assessed in independent groups of control and CRS-treated rats, at 1 and 3 months postinjury, after completion of a 2-week prophylactic treatment initiated 15 min after injury. The antiepileptic effects of 1-week CRS treatments were assessed in repeated measures experiments at 1 and 4 months postinjury. The studies were powered to detect ~50 and ~40% decreases in epilepsy incidence and frequency of seizures, respectively. Drug/vehicle treatment, ECoG analysis, and [CRS](plasma) determination all were performed blind. We detected no antiepileptogenic and an equivocal transient antiepileptic effects of CRS despite [CRS](plasma) comparable with or higher than levels attained in previous preclinical and clinical studies. These findings contrast with previous preclinical data demonstrating large efficacy of CRS, but agree with the average effect of CRS seen in clinical trials. The data support the use of rpFPI-induced PTE in the adolescent rat as a model of pharmacoresistant epilepsy for preclinical development.
Human posttraumatic epilepsy (PTE) is highly heterogeneous, ranging from mild remitting to progressive disabling forms. PTE results in simple partial, complex partial, and secondarily generalized seizures with a wide spectrum of durations and semiologies. PTE variability is thought to depend on the heterogeneity of head injury and patients age, gender, and genetic background. To better understand the role of these factors, we investigated the seizures resulting from calibrated fluid percussion injury (FPI) to adolescent male Sprague-Dawley rats with video electrocorticography. We show that PTE incidence and the frequency and severity of chronic seizures depend on the location and severity of FPI. The frontal neocortex was more prone to epileptogenesis than the parietal and occipital, generating earlier, longer, and more frequent partial seizures. A prominent limbic focus developed in most animals, regardless of parameters of injury. Remarkably, even with carefully controlled injury parameters, including type, severity, and location, the duration of posttraumatic apnea and the age and gender of outbred rats, there was great subject-to-subject variability in frequency, duration, and rate of progression of seizures, indicating that other factors, likely the subjects genetic background and physiological states, have critical roles in determining the characteristics of PTE.
Voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) are key mediators of intrinsic neuronal and muscle excitability. Abnormal VGSC activity is central to the pathophysiology of epileptic seizures, and many of the most widely used antiepileptic drugs, including phenytoin, carbamazepine, and lamotrigine, are inhibitors of VGSC function. These antiepileptic drugs might also be efficacious in the treatment of other nervous system disorders, such as migraine, multiple sclerosis, neurodegenerative diseases, and neuropathic pain. In this Review, we summarise the structure and function of VGSCs and their involvement in the pathophysiology of several neurological disorders. We also describe the biophysical and molecular bases for the mechanisms of action of antiepileptic VGSC blockers and discuss the efficacy of these drugs in the treatment of epileptic and non-epileptic disorders. Overall, clinical and experimental data indicate that these drugs are efficacious for a range of diseases, and that the development of drugs with enhanced selectivity for specific VGSC isoforms might be an effective and novel approach for the treatment of several neurological diseases.
Carbamazepine (5H-dibenz[b,f]azepine-5-carboxamide) and oxcarbazepine (10,11-dihydro-10-oxo-5H-dibenz[b,f]azepine-5-carboxamide) are widely used for the treatment of partial epilepsy. Recent work indicates that these drugs, in addition to targeting voltage-gated Na(+) channels, can modulate ligand-gated channels. These compounds appear to be particularly effective for treatment of nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy, which can be caused by mutant neuronal nicotinic receptors. We compared the effects of carbamazepine and oxcarbazepine on heteromeric nicotinic receptors to better understand the underlying mechanism of the effect of these drugs in epileptic patients. Receptors were expressed in cell lines and studied by patch-clamp methods at -60 mV. For alpha2beta4 receptors activated with 100 microM nicotine, IC(50) for carbamazepine was 49 microM. Receptors in which alpha2 was substituted with alpha2-I279 N, linked to autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy, had an IC(50) of 21 microM. For oxcarbazepine, the IC(50) was larger than 500 microM for wild-type receptors and approximately 100 microM for mutant receptors. A similar inhibition was observed in the presence of 10 microM nicotine, indicating a non-competitive mechanism. The monohydroxy derivative (MHD) of oxcarbazepine, clinically the most relevant compound, was tested on both alpha2beta4 and alpha4beta2 receptors, to obtain a broader view of its possible physiological effects. At the typical concentration present in blood (100 microM), MHD produced an approximate 40% channel block on alpha4beta2, but no significant effect on alpha2beta4 receptors. Oxcarbazepine and MHD retarded the channel deactivation, suggesting that these compounds produce open channel block. These results may explain the particular efficacy of these drugs in nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy.
The absence of fragile X mental retardation protein results in the fragile X syndrome (FXS), a common form of mental retardation associated with attention deficit, autistic behavior, and epileptic seizures. The phenotype of FXS is reproduced in fragile X mental retardation 1 (fmr1) knockout (KO) mice that have region-specific altered expression of some gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA(A)) receptor subunits. However, little is known about the characteristics of GABAergic inhibition in the subiculum of these animals. We employed patch-clamp recordings from subicular pyramidal cells in an in vitro slice preparation. In addition, semiquantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blot experiments were performed on subiculum obtained from wild-type (WT) and KO mice. We found that tonic GABA(A) currents were downregulated in fmr1 KO compared with WT neurons, whereas no significant differences were observed in phasic GABA(A) currents. Molecular biology analysis revealed that the tonic GABA(A) receptor subunits alpha5 and delta were underexpressed in the fmr1 KO mouse subiculum compared with WT. Because the subiculum plays a role in both cognitive functions and epileptic disorders, we propose that altered tonic inhibition in this structure contributes to the behavioral deficits and epileptic activity seen in FXS patients. This conclusion is in line with evidence implicating tonic GABA(A) inhibition in learning and memory.
The mechanism of action of several antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) rests on their ability to modulate the activity of voltage-gated sodium currents that are responsible for fast action potential generation. Recent data indicate that lacosamide (a compound with analgesic and anticonvulsant effects in animal models) shares a similar mechanism. When compared with other AEDs, lacosamide has the unique ability to interact with sodium channel slow inactivation without affecting fast inactivation. This article reviews these findings and discusses their relevance within the context of neuronal activity seen during epileptiform discharges generated by limbic neuronal networks in the presence of chemical convulsants. These seizure-like events are characterized by sustained discharges of sodium-dependent action potentials supported by robust depolarizations, thus providing synchronization within neuronal networks. Generally, AEDs such as phenytoin, carbamazepine and lamotrigine block sodium channels when activated. In contrast, lacosamide facilitates slow inactivation of sodium channels both in terms of kinetics and voltage dependency. This effect may be relatively selective for repeatedly depolarized neurons, such as those participating in seizure activity in which the persistence of sodium currents is more pronounced and promotes neuronal excitation. The clinical effectiveness of lacosamide has been demonstrated in randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled, adjunctive-therapy trials in patients with refractory partial seizures. Further studies should determine whether the effects of lacosamide in animal models and in clinical settings are fully explained by its selective action on sodium current slow inactivation or whether other effects (e.g. interactions with the collapsin-response mediator protein-2) play a contributory role.
The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC)--which plays a role in pain, emotions and behavior--can generate epileptic seizures. To date, little is known on the neuronal mechanisms leading to epileptiform synchronization in this structure. Therefore, we investigated the role of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission in epileptiform activity in this cortical area. In addition, since the ACC presents with a high density of opioid receptors, we studied the effect of opioid agonism on epileptiform synchronization in this brain region.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.