Mesiotemporal sclerosis (MTS), the most frequent form of drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy, often develops after an initial precipitating injury affecting the immature brain. To analyse early processes in epileptogenesis we used the juvenile pilocarpine model to study status epilepticus (SE)-induced changes in expression of key components in the glutamate-glutamine cycle, known to be affected in MTS patients. SE was induced by Li(+) /pilocarpine injection in 21-day-old rats. At 2-19 weeks after SE hippocampal protein expression was analysed by immunohistochemistry and neuron damage by FluoroJade staining. Spontaneous seizures occurred in at least 44% of animals 15-18 weeks after SE. As expected in this model, we did not observe loss of principal hippocampal neurons. Neuron damage was most pronounced in the hilus, where we also detected progressive loss of parvalbumin-positive GABAergic interneurons. Hilar neuron loss (or end-folium sclerosis), a common feature in patients with MTS, was accompanied by a progressively decreased glutamine synthetase (GS)-immunoreactivity from 2 (-15%) to 19 weeks (-33.5%) after SE. Immunoreactivity for excitatory amino-acid transporters, vesicular glutamate transporter 1 and glial fibrillary acidic protein was unaffected. Our data show that SE elicited in 21-day-old rats induces a progressive reduction in hilar GS expression without affecting other key components of the glutamate-glutamine cycle. Reduced expression of glial enzyme GS was first detected 2 weeks after SE, and thus clearly before spontaneous recurrent seizures occurred. These results support the hypothesis that reduced GS expression is an early event in the development of hippocampal sclerosis in MTS patients and emphasize the importance of astrocytes in early epileptogenesis.
Synthetic glucocorticoids are administered to pregnant women at risk for preterm delivery, to enhance fetal lung maturation. The benefit of this treatment is well established, however caution is necessary because of possible unwanted side effects on development of different organ systems, including the brain. Actions of glucocorticoids are mediated by corticosteroid receptors, which are highly expressed in the hippocampus, a brain structure involved in cognitive functions. Therefore, we analyzed the effects of a single antenatal dexamethasone treatment on the development of the mouse hippocampus. A clinically relevant dose of dexamethasone (0.4 mg/kg) was administered to pregnant mice at embryonic day 15.5 and the hippocampus was analyzed from embryonic day 16 until adulthood. We investigated the effects of dexamethasone treatment on anatomical changes, apoptosis and proliferation in the hippocampus, hippocampal volume and on total body weight. Our results show that dexamethasone treatment reduced body weight and hippocampal volume transiently during development, but these effects were no longer detected at adulthood. Dexamethasone treatment increased the number of apoptotic cells in the hippocampus until birth, but postnatally no effects of dexamethasone treatment on apoptosis were found. During the phase with increased apoptosis, dexamethasone treatment reduced the number of proliferating cells in the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus. The number of proliferative cells was increased at postnatal day 5 and 10, but was decreased again at the adult stage. This latter long-term and negative effect of antenatal dexamethasone treatment on the number of proliferative cells in the hippocampus may have important implications for hippocampal network function.
Epilepsy comprises several syndromes, amongst the most common being mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis. Seizures in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis are typically drug-resistant, and mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis is frequently associated with important co-morbidities, mandating the search for better understanding and treatment. The cause of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis is unknown, but there is an association with childhood febrile seizures. Several rarer epilepsies featuring febrile seizures are caused by mutations in SCN1A, which encodes a brain-expressed sodium channel subunit targeted by many anti-epileptic drugs. We undertook a genome-wide association study in 1018 people with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis and 7552 control subjects, with validation in an independent sample set comprising 959 people with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis and 3591 control subjects. To dissect out variants related to a history of febrile seizures, we tested cases with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis with (overall n = 757) and without (overall n = 803) a history of febrile seizures. Meta-analysis revealed a genome-wide significant association for mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis with febrile seizures at the sodium channel gene cluster on chromosome 2q24.3 [rs7587026, within an intron of the SCN1A gene, P = 3.36 × 10(-9), odds ratio (A) = 1.42, 95% confidence interval: 1.26-1.59]. In a cohort of 172 individuals with febrile seizures, who did not develop epilepsy during prospective follow-up to age 13 years, and 6456 controls, no association was found for rs7587026 and febrile seizures. These findings suggest SCN1A involvement in a common epilepsy syndrome, give new direction to biological understanding of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis with febrile seizures, and open avenues for investigation of prognostic factors and possible prevention of epilepsy in some children with febrile seizures.
Stress can influence epilepsy in multiple ways. A relation between stress and seizures is often experienced by patients with epilepsy. Numerous questionnaire and diary studies have shown that stress is the most often reported seizure-precipitating factor in epilepsy. Acute stress can provoke epileptic seizures, and chronic stress increases seizure frequency. In addition to its effects on seizure susceptibility in patients with epilepsy, stress might also increase the risk of epilepsy development, especially when the stressors are severe, prolonged, or experienced early in life. Although the latter has not been fully resolved in humans, various preclinical epilepsy models have shown increased seizure susceptibility in naïve rodents after prenatal and early postnatal stress exposure. In the current review, we first provide an overview of the effects of stress on the brain. Thereafter, we discuss human as well as preclinical studies evaluating the relation between stress, epileptic seizures, and epileptogenesis, focusing on the epileptogenic effects of early life stress. Increased knowledge on the interaction between early life stress, seizures, and epileptogenesis could improve patient care and provide a basis for new treatment strategies for epilepsy. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled NEWroscience 2013.
A small fraction of children with febrile seizures appears to develop cognitive impairments. Recent studies in a rat model of hyperthermia-induced febrile seizures indicate that prolonged febrile seizures early in life have long-lasting effects on the hippocampus and induce cognitive deficits. However, data on network plasticity and the nature of cognitive deficits are conflicting. We examined three specific measures of hippocampal plasticity in adult rats with a prior history of experimental febrile seizures: (i) activity-dependent synaptic plasticity (long-term potentiation and depression) by electrophysiological recordings of Schaffer collateral/commissural-evoked field excitatory synaptic potentials in CA1 of acute hippocampal slices; (ii) Morris water maze spatial learning and memory; and (iii) hippocampal mossy fiber plasticity by Timm histochemistry and quantification of terminal sprouting in CA3 and the dentate gyrus. We found enhanced hippocampal CA1 long-term potentiation and reduced long-term depression but normal spatial learning and memory in adult rats that were subjected to experimental febrile seizures on postnatal day 10. Furthermore, rats with experimental febrile seizures showed modest but significant sprouting of mossy fiber collaterals into the inner molecular layer of the dentate gyrus in adulthood. We conclude that enhanced CA1 long-term potentiation and mild mossy fiber sprouting occur after experimental febrile seizures, without affecting spatial learning and memory in the Morris water maze. These long-term functional and structural alterations in hippocampal plasticity are likely to play a role in the enhanced seizure susceptibility in this model of prolonged human febrile seizures but do not correlate with overt cognitive deficits.
Vesicular glutamate transporters (VGLUTs) are responsible for loading synaptic vesicles with glutamate, determining the phenotype of glutamatergic neurons, and have been implicated in the regulation of quantal size and presynaptic plasticity. We analyzed VGLUT subtype expression in normal human hippocampus and tested the hypothesis that alterations in VGLUT expression may contribute to long-term changes in glutamatergic transmission reported in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE).
Voltage-dependent sodium channels consist of a pore-forming alpha-subunit and regulatory beta-subunits. Alterations in these channels have been implicated in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) and several genetic epilepsy syndromes. Recently we identified Na(v)beta3 as a TLE-regulated gene. Here we performed a detailed analysis of the hippocampal expression of Na(v)beta3 in TLE patients with hippocampal sclerosis (HS) and without HS (non-HS) and compared expression with autopsy controls (ACs). Immunoblot analysis showed that Na(v)beta3 levels were dramatically reduced in the hippocampus, but not in the cortex of non-HS patients when compared to HS patients. This was confirmed by immunohistochemistry showing reduced Na(v)beta3 expression in all principal neurons of the hippocampus proper. Sequence analysis revealed no Na(v)beta3 mutations. The functional consequences of the reduced Na(v)beta3 expression in non-HS patients are unknown. Altered Na(v)beta3 expression might influence microcircuitry in the hippocampus, affecting excitability and contributing to epileptogenesis in non-HS patients. Further experiments are required to elucidate these functional possibilities.
Mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (mTLE) is a chronic and often treatment-refractory brain disorder characterized by recurrent seizures originating from the hippocampus. The pathogenic mechanisms underlying mTLE remain largely unknown. Recent clinical and experimental evidence supports a role of various inflammatory mediators in mTLE. Here, we performed protein expression profiling of 40 inflammatory mediators in surgical resection material from mTLE patients with and without hippocampal sclerosis, and autopsy controls using a multiplex bead-based immunoassay. In mTLE patients we identified 21 upregulated inflammatory mediators, including 10 cytokines and 7 chemokines. Many of these upregulated mediators have not previously been implicated in mTLE (for example, CCL22, IL-7 and IL-25). Comparing the three patient groups, two main hippocampal expression patterns could be distinguished, pattern I (for example, IL-10 and IL-25) showing increased expression in mTLE?+?HS patients compared to mTLE-HS and controls, and pattern II (for example, CCL4 and IL-7) showing increased expression in both mTLE groups compared to controls. Upregulation of a subset of inflammatory mediators (for example, IL-25 and IL-7) could not only be detected in the hippocampus of mTLE patients, but also in the neocortex. Principle component analysis was used to cluster the inflammatory mediators into several components. Follow-up analyses of the identified components revealed that the three patient groups could be discriminated based on their unique expression profiles. Immunocytochemistry showed that IL-25 IR (pattern I) and CCL4 IR (pattern II) were localized in astrocytes and microglia, whereas IL-25 IR was also detected in neurons. Our data shows co-activation of multiple inflammatory mediators in hippocampus and neocortex of mTLE patients, indicating activation of multiple pro- and anti-epileptogenic immune pathways in this disease.
Childhood status epilepticus (SE) initiates an epileptogenic process that leads to spontaneous seizures and hippocampal pathology characterized by neuronal loss, gliosis and an imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission. It remains unclear whether these changes are a cause or consequence of chronic epilepsy. In this study, in vivo MRS was used in a post-SE juvenile rat model of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) to establish the temporal evolution of hippocampal injury and neurotransmitter imbalance. SE was induced in P21 rats by injection of lithium and pilocarpine. Four and eight weeks after SE, in vivo (1) H and ?-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-edited MRS of the hippocampus was performed in combination with dedicated ex vivo immunohistochemistry for the interpretation and validation of MRS findings. MRS showed a 12% decrease (p<0.0001) in N-acetylaspartate and a 15% increase (p=0.0226) in choline-containing compound concentrations, indicating neuronal death and gliosis, respectively. These results were confirmed by FluoroJade and vimentin staining. Furthermore, severe and progressive decreases in GABA (-41%, p<0.001) and glutamate (Glu) (-17%, p<0.001) were found. The specific severity of GABAergic cell death was confirmed by parvalbumin immunoreactivity (-68%, p<0.001). Unexpectedly, we found changes in glutamine (Gln), the metabolic precursor of both GABA and Glu. Gln increased at 4 weeks (+36%, p<0.001), but returned to control levels at 8 weeks. This decrease was consistent with the simultaneous decrease in glutamine synthase immunoreactivity (-32%, p=0.037). In vivo MRS showed gliosis and (predominantly GABAergic) neuronal loss. In addition, an increase in Gln was detected, accompanied by a decrease in glutamine synthase immunoreactivity. This may reflect glutamine synthase downregulation in order to normalize Gln levels. These changes occurred before spontaneous recurrent seizures were present but, by creating a pre-epileptic state, may play a role in epileptogenesis. MRS can be applied in a clinical setting and may be used as a noninvasive tool to monitor the development of TLE.
Febrile seizures (FS) are the most common seizure type in children between the age of 6 months and 5 years. Although FS are largely benign, recurrent FS are a major risk factor for developing temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) later in life. The mechanisms underlying FS are largely unknown; however, family and twin studies indicate that FS susceptibility is under complex genetic control. We have recently developed a phenotypic screen to study the genetics of FS susceptibility in mice. Using this screen in a phenotype-driven genetic strategy we analyzed the C57BL/6J-Chr #(A)/NaJ chromosome substitution strain (CSS) panel. In each CSS line one chromosome of the A/J strain is substituted in a genetically homogeneous C57BL/6J background. The analysis of the CSS panel revealed that A/J chromosomes 1, 2, 6, 10, 13, and X carry at least one quantitative trait locus (QTL) for heat-induced FS susceptibility. The fact that many X-linked genes are highly expressed in the brain and have been implicated in human developmental disorders often presenting with seizures (like fragile X mental retardation) prompted us to map the chromosome X QTL.
Mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (mTLE) is a chronic neurological disorder characterized by recurrent seizures. The pathogenic mechanisms underlying mTLE may involve defects in the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are non-coding RNAs that control the expression of genes at the post-transcriptional level. Here, we performed a genome-wide miRNA profiling study to examine whether miRNA-mediated mechanisms are affected in human mTLE. miRNA profiles of the hippocampus of autopsy control patients and two mTLE patient groups were compared. This revealed segregated miRNA signatures for the three different patient groups and 165 miRNAs with up- or down-regulated expression in mTLE. miRNA in situ hybridization detected cell type-specific changes in miRNA expression and an abnormal nuclear localization of select miRNAs in neurons and glial cells of mTLE patients. Of several cellular processes implicated in mTLE, the immune response was most prominently targeted by deregulated miRNAs. Enhanced expression of inflammatory mediators was paralleled by a reduction in miRNAs that were found to target the 3-untranslated regions of these genes in reporter assays. miR-221 and miR-222 were shown to regulate endogenous ICAM1 expression and were selectively co-expressed with ICAM1 in astrocytes in mTLE patients. Our findings suggest that miRNA changes in mTLE affect the expression of immunomodulatory proteins thereby further facilitating the immune response. This mechanism may have broad implications given the central role of astrocytes and the immune system in human neurological disease. Overall, this work extends the current concepts of human mTLE pathogenesis to the level of miRNA-mediated gene regulation.
Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is one of the most common focal epilepsy syndromes. In a genome-wide expression study of the human TLE hippocampus we previously showed up-regulation of genes involved in chemokine signalling. Here we investigate in the rat pilocarpine model for TLE, whether changes in chemokine signalling occur during epileptogenesis and are persistent. Therefore we analysed hippocampal protein expression and cellular localisation of CCL2, CCL4, CCR1 and CCR5 after status epilepticus. We found increased CCL4 (but not CCL2) expression in specific populations of hilar astrocytes at 2 and 19 weeks after SE concomitant with a persistent up-regulation of its receptor CCR5. Our results show an early and persistent up-regulation of CCL4/CCR5 signalling during epileptogenesis and suggest that CCL4 signalling, rather than CCL2 signalling, could have a role in the epileptogenic process.
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.