Increased coupling and altered glutamate transport currents in astrocytes following kainic-acid-induced status epilepticus.
ABSTRACT: Profound astrogliosis coincident with neuronal cell loss is universally described in human and animal models of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). In the kainic acid-induced status epilepticus (SE) model of TLE, astrocytes in the hippocampus become reactive soon after SE and before the onset of spontaneous seizures. To determine if astrocytes in the hippocampus exhibit changes in function soon after SE, we recorded from SR101-labeled astrocytes using the whole-cell patch technique in hippocampal brain slices prepared from control and kainic-acid-treated rats. Glutamate transporter-dependent currents were found to have significantly faster decay time kinetics and in addition, dye coupling between astrocytes was substantially increased. Consistent with an increase in dye coupling in reactive astrocytes, immunoblot experiments demonstrated a significant increase in both glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and connexin 43, a major gap junction protein expressed by astrocytes. In contrast to what has been observed in resected tissue from patients with refractory epilepsy, changes in potassium currents were not observed shortly after KA-induced SE. While many changes in neuronal function have been identified during the initial period of low seizure probability in this model of TLE, the present study contributes to the growing body of literature suggesting a role for astrocytes in the process of epileptogenesis.
Project description:Kainic acid, an analogue of the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate, can trigger seizures and neurotoxicity in the hippocampus and other limbic structures in a manner that mirrors the neuropathology of human temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). However, the underlying mechanisms associated with the neurotoxicity remain unclear. Since amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides, which are critical in the development of Alzheimer's disease, can mediate toxicity by activating glutamatergic NMDA receptors, it is likely that the enhanced glutamatergic transmission that renders hippocampal neurons vulnerable to kainic acid treatment may involve Aβ peptides. Thus, we seek to establish what role Aβ plays in kainic acid-induced toxicity using in vivo and in vitro paradigms. Our results show that systemic injection of kainic acid to adult rats triggers seizures, gliosis and loss of hippocampal neurons, along with increased levels/processing of amyloid precursor protein (APP), resulting in the enhanced production of Aβ-related peptides. The changes in APP levels/processing were evident primarily in activated astrocytes, implying a role for astrocytic Aβ in kainic acid-induced toxicity. Accordingly, we showed that treating rat primary cultured astrocytes with kainic acid can lead to increased Aβ production/secretion without any compromise in cell viability. Additionally, we revealed that kainic acid reduces neuronal viability more in neuronal/astrocyte co-cultures than in pure neuronal culture, and this is attenuated by precluding Aβ production. Collectively, these results indicate that increased production/secretion of Aβ-related peptides from activated astrocytes can contribute to neurotoxicity in kainic acid-treated rats. Since kainic acid administration can lead to neuropathological changes resembling TLE, it is likely that APP/Aβ peptides derived from astrocytes may have a role in TLE pathogenesis.
Project description:Astrocytes regulate extracellular glutamate and water homeostasis through the astrocyte-specific membrane proteins glutamate transporter-1 (GLT1) and aquaporin-4 (AQP4), respectively. The role of astrocytes and the regulation of GLT1 and AQP4 in epilepsy are not fully understood. In this study, we investigated the expression of GLT1 and AQP4 in the intrahippocampal kainic acid (IHKA) model of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). We used real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), Western blot, and immunohistochemical analysis at 1, 4, 7, and 30days after kainic acid-induced status epilepticus (SE) to determine hippocampal glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP, a marker for reactive astrocytes), GLT1, and AQP4 expression changes during the development of epilepsy (epileptogenesis). Following IHKA, all mice had SE and progressive increases in GFAP immunoreactivity and GFAP protein expression out to 30days post-SE. A significant initial increase in dorsal hippocampal GLT1 immunoreactivity and protein levels were observed 1day post SE and followed by a marked downregulation at 4 and 7days post SE with a return to near control levels by 30days post SE. AQP4 dorsal hippocampal protein expression was significantly downregulated at 1day post SE and was followed by a gradual return to baseline levels with a significant increase in ipsilateral protein levels by 30days post SE. Transient increases in GFAP and AQP4 mRNA were also observed. Our findings suggest that specific molecular changes in astrocyte glutamate transporters and water channels occur during epileptogenesis in this model, and suggest the novel therapeutic strategy of restoring glutamate and water homeostasis.
Project description:Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is a common chronic neurological disease in humans. A number of studies have demonstrated differential expression of miRNAs in the hippocampus of humans with TLE and in animal models of experimental epilepsy. However, the dissimilarities in experimental design have led to largely discordant results across these studies. Thus, a comprehensive comparison is required in order to better characterize miRNA profiles obtained in various post-status epilepticus (SE) models. We therefore created a database and performed a meta-analysis of differentially expressed miRNAs across 3 post-SE models of epileptogenesis (electrical stimulation, pilocarpine and kainic acid) and human TLE with hippocampal sclerosis (TLE-HS). The database includes data from 11 animal post-SE studies and 3 human TLE-HS studies. A total of 378 differentially expressed miRNAs were collected (274 up-regulated and 198 down-regulated) and analyzed with respect to the post-SE model, time point and animal species. We applied the novel robust rank aggregation method to identify consistently differentially expressed miRNAs across the profiles. It highlighted common and unique miRNAs at different stages of epileptogenesis. The pathway analysis revealed involvement of these miRNAs in key pathogenic pathways underlying epileptogenesis, including inflammation, gliosis and deregulation of the extracellular matrix.
Project description:Objective:Reproductive dysfunction is a comorbidity that commonly occurs with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Characterization of this comorbidity in various models of TLE in mice will greatly facilitate mechanistic investigations of the relationship between reproductive disorders and seizures initiated in the hippocampus. Here we investigate the impact on female reproductive estrous cyclicity in the intrahippocampal kainic acid mouse model of TLE and demonstrate the utility of using this model for future mechanistic studies. Methods:Kainic acid (KA) or saline vehicle was stereotaxically injected in the right dorsal hippocampus of adult female C57BL/6J mice. Development of epilepsy was assessed by video monitoring for behavioral seizures. Reproductive function was assessed by daily estrous cycle monitoring and ovarian morphology. Estrous cycles were monitored for up to 2 months after injection. Ovarian morphology was examined by histological staining and assessment of follicular and luteal development. Results:We observed spontaneous behavioral seizures in 82% of kainic-acid-treated mice. Irregular estrous cycles developed within 2 months after kainic acid injection. Sixty-seven percent of KA-treated mice showed disrupted estrous cycles, typically characterized by increased estrous cycle length, increased time spent in diestrus (nonfertile stage), and decreased time spent in estrus by 42 days post-KA injection. The estrous cycle disruption, however, was not accompanied by major changes in ovarian morphology or follicular development. KA-treated mice also displayed increased weight gain compared to control mice. Significance:These data indicate that comorbid female irregular estrous cyclicity arises in the intrahippocampal kainic acid mouse model of TLE. This is the first demonstration of disrupted reproductive endocrine function in a mouse model of TLE initially produced by an insult specifically targeted to the hippocampus. This model should thus be useful for basic studies investigating the neural mechanisms driving comorbid reproductive dysfunction in epilepsy in women.
Project description:Neuronal dysfunction due to iron accumulation in conjunction with reactive oxygen species (ROS) could represent an important, yet underappreciated, component of the epileptogenic process. However, to date, alterations in iron metabolism in the epileptogenic brain have not been addressed in detail. Iron-related neuropathology and antioxidant metabolic processes were investigated in resected brain tissue from patients with temporal lobe epilepsy and hippocampal sclerosis (TLE-HS), post-mortem brain tissue from patients who died after status epilepticus (SE) as well as brain tissue from the electrically induced SE rat model of TLE. Magnetic susceptibility of the presumed seizure-onset zone from three patients with focal epilepsy was compared during and after seizure activity. Finally, the cellular effects of iron overload were studied in vitro using an acute mouse hippocampal slice preparation and cultured human fetal astrocytes. While iron-accumulating neurons had a pyknotic morphology, astrocytes appeared to acquire iron-sequestrating capacity as indicated by prominent ferritin expression and iron retention in the hippocampus of patients with SE or TLE. Interictal to postictal comparison revealed increased magnetic susceptibility in the seizure-onset zone of epilepsy patients. Post-SE rats had consistently higher hippocampal iron levels during the acute and chronic phase (when spontaneous recurrent seizures are evident). In vitro, in acute slices that were exposed to iron, neurons readily took up iron, which was exacerbated by induced epileptiform activity. Human astrocyte cultures challenged with iron and ROS increased their antioxidant and iron-binding capacity, but simultaneously developed a pro-inflammatory phenotype upon chronic exposure. These data suggest that seizure-mediated, chronic neuronal iron uptake might play a role in neuronal dysfunction/loss in TLE-HS. On the other hand, astrocytes sequester iron, specifically in chronic epilepsy. This function might transform astrocytes into a highly resistant, pro-inflammatory phenotype potentially contributing to pro-epileptogenic inflammatory processes.
Project description:Adenosine kinase (ADK) represents the key metabolic enzyme for the regulation of extracellular adenosine levels in the brain. In adult brain, ADK is primarily present in astrocytes. Several lines of experimental evidence support a critical role of ADK in different types of brain injury associated with astrogliosis, which is also a prominent morphologic feature of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). We hypothesized that dysregulation of ADK is an ubiquitous pathologic hallmark of TLE.Using immunocytochemistry and Western blot analysis, we investigated ADK protein expression in a rat model of TLE during epileptogenesis and the chronic epileptic phase and compared those findings with tissue resected from TLE patients with mesial temporal sclerosis (MTS).In rat control hippocampus and cortex, a low baseline expression of ADK was found with mainly nuclear localization. One week after the electrical induction of status epilepticus (SE), prominent up-regulation of ADK became evident in astrocytes with a characteristic cytoplasmic localization. This increase in ADK persisted at least for 3-4 months after SE in rats developing a progressive form of epilepsy. In line with the findings from the rat model, expression of astrocytic ADK was also found to be increased in the hippocampus and temporal cortex of patients with TLE. In addition, in vitro experiments in human astrocyte cultures showed that ADK expression was increased by several proinflammatory molecules (interleukin-1? and lipopolysaccharide).These results suggest that dysregulation of ADK in astrocytes is a common pathologic hallmark of TLE. Moreover, in vitro data suggest the existence of an additional layer of modulatory crosstalk between the astrocyte-based adenosine cycle and inflammation. Whether this interaction also can play a role in vivo needs to be further investigated.
Project description:Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are synthesized by neurons and glia and released into the extracellular space, where they act as modulators of neuroplasticity and neuroinflammatory agents. Development of epilepsy (epileptogenesis) is associated with increased expression of MMPs, and therefore, they may represent potential therapeutic drug targets. Using quantitative PCR (qPCR) and immunohistochemistry, we studied the expression of MMPs and their endogenous inhibitors tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) in patients with status epilepticus (SE) or temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) and in a rat TLE model. Furthermore, we tested the MMP2/9 inhibitor IPR-179 in the rapid-kindling rat model and in the intrahippocampal kainic acid mouse model. In both human and experimental epilepsy, MMP and TIMP expression were persistently dysregulated in the hippocampus compared with in controls. IPR-179 treatment reduced seizure severity in the rapid-kindling model and reduced the number of spontaneous seizures in the kainic acid model (during and up to 7 weeks after delivery) without side effects while improving cognitive behavior. Moreover, our data suggest that IPR-179 prevented an MMP2/9-dependent switch-off normally restraining network excitability during the activity period. Since increased MMP expression is a prominent hallmark of the human epileptogenic brain and the MMP inhibitor IPR-179 exhibits antiseizure and antiepileptogenic effects in rodent epilepsy models and attenuates seizure-induced cognitive decline, it deserves further investigation in clinical trials.
Project description:Sulforhodamine 101 (SR101) is widely used as a marker of astrocytes. In this study we investigated labeling of astrocytes by SR101 in acute slices from the ventrolateral medulla and the hippocampus of transgenic mice expressing EGFP under the control of the astrocyte-specific human GFAP promoter. While SR101 efficiently and specifically labeled EGFP-expressing astrocytes in hippocampus, we found that the same staining procedure failed to label astrocytes efficiently in the ventrolateral medulla. Although carbenoxolone is able to decrease the SR101-labeling of astrocytes in the hippocampus, it is unlikely that SR101 is taken up via gap-junction hemichannels because mefloquine, a blocker for pannexin and connexin hemichannels, was unable to prevent SR101-labeling of hippocampal astrocytes. However, SR101-labeling of the hippocampal astrocytes was significantly reduced by substrates of organic anion transport polypeptides, including estron-3-sulfate and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, suggesting that SR101 is actively transported into hippocampal astrocytes.
Project description:Currently, no reliable markers are available to evaluate the epileptogenic potential of a brain injury. The electroencephalogram is the standard method of diagnosis of epilepsy; however, it is not used to predict the risk of developing epilepsy. Biomarkers that indicate an individual's risk to develop epilepsy, especially those measurable in the periphery are urgently needed. Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), the most common form of acquired epilepsy, is characterized by spontaneous recurrent seizures following brain injury and a seizure-free "latent" period. Elucidation of mechanisms at play during epilepsy development (epileptogenesis) in animal models of TLE could enable the identification of predictive biomarkers. Our pilot study using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry metabolomics analysis revealed changes (p-value???0.05, ?1.5-fold change) in lipid, purine, and sterol metabolism in rat plasma and hippocampus during epileptogenesis and chronic epilepsy in the kainic acid model of TLE. Notably, disease development was associated with dysregulation of vitamin D3 metabolism at all stages and plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 depletion in the acute and latent phase of injury-induced epileptogenesis. These data suggest that plasma VD3 metabolites reflect the severity of an epileptogenic insult and that a panel of plasma VD3 metabolites may be able to serve as a marker of epileptogenesis.
Project description:Enduring, abnormal expression and function of the ion channel hyperpolarization-activated cyclic adenosine monophosphate gated channel type 1 (HCN1) occurs in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). We examined the underlying mechanisms, and investigated whether interfering with these mechanisms could modify disease course.Experimental TLE was provoked by kainic acid-induced status epilepticus (SE). HCN1 channel repression was examined at mRNA, protein, and functional levels. Chromatin immunoprecipitation was employed to identify the transcriptional mechanism of repressed HCN1 expression, and the basis for their endurance. Physical interaction of the repressor, NRSF, was abolished using decoy oligodeoxynucleotides (ODNs). Video/electroencephalographic recordings were performed to assess the onset and initial pattern of spontaneous seizures.Levels of NRSF and its physical binding to the Hcn1 gene were augmented after SE, resulting in repression of HCN1 expression and HCN1-mediated currents (I(h) ), and reduced I(h) -dependent resonance in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cell dendrites. Chromatin changes typical of enduring, epigenetic gene repression were apparent at the Hcn1 gene within a week after SE. Administration of decoy ODNs comprising the NRSF DNA-binding sequence (neuron restrictive silencer element [NRSE]), in vitro and in vivo, reduced NRSF binding to Hcn1, prevented its repression, and restored I(h) function. In vivo, decoy NRSE ODN treatment restored theta rhythm and altered the initial pattern of spontaneous seizures.Acquired HCN1 channelopathy derives from NRSF-mediated transcriptional repression that endures via chromatin modification and may provide insight into the mechanisms of a number of channelopathies that coexist with, and may contribute to, the conversion of a normal brain into an epileptic one.