Zebrafish larvae exposed to ginkgotoxin exhibit seizure-like behavior that is relieved by pyridoxal-5'-phosphate, GABA and anti-epileptic drugs.
ABSTRACT: The etiology of epilepsy is a very complicated, multifactorial process that is not completely understood. Therefore, the availability of epilepsy animal models induced by different mechanisms is crucial in advancing our knowledge and developing new therapeutic regimens for this disorder. Considering the advantages of zebrafish, we have developed a seizure model in zebrafish larvae using ginkgotoxin, a neurotoxin naturally occurring in Ginkgo biloba and hypothesized to inhibit the formation of the neurotransmitter ?-aminobutyric acid (GABA). We found that a 2-hour exposure to ginkgotoxin induced a seizure-like behavior in zebrafish larvae. This seizure-like swimming pattern was alleviated by the addition of either pyridoxal-5'-phosphate (PLP) or GABA and responded quickly to the anti-convulsing activity of gabapentin and phenytoin, two commonly prescribed anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs). Unexpectedly, the ginkgotoxin-induced PLP depletion in our experimental setting did not affect the homeostasis of folate-mediated one-carbon metabolism, another metabolic pathway playing a crucial role in neural function that also relies on the availability of PLP. This ginkgotoxin-induced seizure behavior was also relieved by primidone, which had been tested on a pentylenetetrazole-induced zebrafish seizure model but failed to rescue the seizure phenotype, highlighting the potential use and complementarity of this ginkgotoxin-induced seizure model for AED development. Structural and morphological characterization showed that a 2-hour ginkgotoxin exposure did not cause appreciable changes in larval morphology and tissues development. In conclusion, our data suggests that this ginkgotoxin-induced seizure in zebrafish larvae could serve as an in vivo model for epileptic seizure research and potential AED screening.
Project description:Epilepsy is a common disorder of the brain characterized by spontaneous recurrent seizures, which develop gradually during a process called epileptogenesis. The mechanistic processes underlying the changes of brain tissue and networks toward increased seizure susceptibility are not fully understood. In rodents, injection of kainic acid (KA) ultimately leads to the development of spontaneous epileptic seizures, reflecting similar neuropathological characteristics as seen in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Although this model has significantly contributed to increased knowledge of epileptogenesis, it is technically demanding, costly to operate and hence not suitable for high-throughput screening of anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs). Zebrafish, a vertebrate with complementary advantages to rodents, is an established animal model for epilepsy research. Here, we generated a novel KA-induced epilepsy model in zebrafish larvae that we functionally and pharmacologically validated. KA was administered by pericardial injection at an early zebrafish larval stage. The epileptic phenotype induced was examined by quantification of seizure-like behavior using automated video recording, and of epileptiform brain activity measured via local field potential (LFP) recordings. We also assessed GFP-labeled GABAergic and RFP-labeled glutamatergic neurons in double transgenic KA-injected zebrafish larvae, and examined the GABA and glutamate levels in the larval heads by liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry detection (LC-MS/MS). Finally, KA-injected larvae were exposed to five commonly used AEDs by immersion for pharmacological characterization of the model. Shortly after injection, KA induced a massive damage and inflammation in the zebrafish brain and seizure-like locomotor behavior. An abnormal reorganization of brain circuits was observed, a decrease in both GABAergic and glutamatergic neuronal population and their associated neurotransmitters. Importantly, these changes were accompanied by spontaneous and continuous epileptiform brain discharges starting after a short latency period, as seen in KA rodent models and reminiscent of human pathology. Three out of five AEDs tested rescued LFP abnormalities but did not affect the seizure-like behavior. Taken together, for the first time we describe a chemically-induced larval zebrafish epilepsy model offering unique insights into studying epileptogenic processes in vivo and suitable for high-throughput AED screening purposes and rapid genetic investigations.
Project description:Biallelic pathogenic variants in PLPBP (formerly called PROSC) have recently been shown to cause a novel form of vitamin B6-dependent epilepsy, the pathophysiological basis of which is poorly understood. When left untreated, the disease can progress to status epilepticus and death in infancy. Here we present 12 previously undescribed patients and six novel pathogenic variants in PLPBP. Suspected clinical diagnoses prior to identification of PLPBP variants included mitochondrial encephalopathy (two patients), folinic acid-responsive epilepsy (one patient) and a movement disorder compatible with AADC deficiency (one patient). The encoded protein, PLPHP is believed to be crucial for B6 homeostasis. We modelled the pathogenicity of the variants and developed a clinical severity scoring system. The most severe phenotypes were associated with variants leading to loss of function of PLPBP or significantly affecting protein stability/PLP-binding. To explore the pathophysiology of this disease further, we developed the first zebrafish model of PLPHP deficiency using CRISPR/Cas9. Our model recapitulates the disease, with plpbp-/- larvae showing behavioural, biochemical, and electrophysiological signs of seizure activity by 10 days post-fertilization and early death by 16 days post-fertilization. Treatment with pyridoxine significantly improved the epileptic phenotype and extended lifespan in plpbp-/- animals. Larvae had disruptions in amino acid metabolism as well as GABA and catecholamine biosynthesis, indicating impairment of PLP-dependent enzymatic activities. Using mass spectrometry, we observed significant B6 vitamer level changes in plpbp-/- zebrafish, patient fibroblasts and PLPHP-deficient HEK293 cells. Additional studies in human cells and yeast provide the first empirical evidence that PLPHP is localized in mitochondria and may play a role in mitochondrial metabolism. These models provide new insights into disease mechanisms and can serve as a platform for drug discovery.
Project description:Epilepsy is a devastating neurological condition exhibited by repeated spontaneous and unpredictable seizures afflicting around 70 million people globally. The basic pathophysiology of epileptic seizures is still elusive, reflecting an extensive need for further research. Developing a novel animal model is crucial in understanding disease mechanisms as well as in assessing the therapeutic target. Most of the pre-clinical epilepsy research has been focused on rodents. Nevertheless, zebrafish disease models are relevant to human disease pathophysiology hence are gaining increased attention nowadays. The current study for the very first time developed a pilocarpine-induced chronic seizure-like condition in adult zebrafish and investigated the modulation in several neuroinflammatory genes and neurotransmitters after pilocarpine exposures. Seizure score analysis suggests that compared to a single dose, repeated dose pilocarpine produces chronic seizure-like effects maintaining an average seizure score of above 2 each day for a minimum of 10 days. Compared to the single dose pilocarpine treated group, there was increased mRNA expression of HMGB1, TLR4, TNF-?, IL-1, BDNF, CREB-1, and NPY; whereas decreased expression of NF-?B was upon the repeated dose of pilocarpine administration. In addition, the epileptic group demonstrates modulation in neurotransmitters levels such as GABA, Glutamate, and Acetylcholine. Moreover, proteomic profiling of the zebrafish brain from the normal and epileptic groups from LCMS/MS quantification detected 77 and 13 proteins in the normal and epileptic group respectively. Summing up, the current investigation depicted that chemically induced seizures in zebrafish demonstrated behavioral and molecular alterations similar to classical rodent seizure models suggesting the usability of adult zebrafish as a robust model to investigate epileptic seizures.
Project description:Epilepsy is a neuronal disorder allied with distinct neurological and behavioral alterations characterized by recurrent spontaneous epileptic seizures. Impairment of the cognitive performances such as learning and memory is frequently observed in epileptic patients. Anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) are efficient to the majority of patients. However, 30% of this population seems to be refractory to the drug treatment. These patients are not seizure-free and frequently they show impaired cognitive functions. Unfortunately, as a side effect, some AEDs could contribute to such impairment. The major problem associated with conducting studies on epilepsy-related cognitive function is the lack of easy, rapid, specific and sensitive in vivo testing models. However, by using a number of different techniques and parameters in the zebrafish, we can incorporate the unique feature of specific disorder to study the molecular and behavior basis of this disease. In the view of current literature, the goal of the study was to develop a zebrafish model of epilepsy induced cognitive dysfunction. In this study, the effect of AEDs on locomotor activity and seizure-like behavior was tested against the pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) induced seizures in zebrafish and epilepsy associated cognitive dysfunction was determined using T-maze test followed by neurotransmitter estimation and gene expression analysis. It was observed that all the AEDs significantly reversed PTZ induced seizure in zebrafish, but had a negative impact on cognitive functions of zebrafish. AEDs were found to modulate neurotransmitter levels, especially GABA, glutamate, and acetylcholine and gene expression in the drug treated zebrafish brains. Therefore, combination of behavioral, neurochemical and genenetic information, makes this model a useful tool for future research and discovery of newer and safer AEDs.
Project description:Epileptic seizures/post-traumatic epilepsy (ES/PTE) are frequent in persons with brain injuries, particularly for patients with more severe injuries including ones that result in disorders of consciousness (DoC). Surprisingly, there are currently no best practice guidelines for assessment or management of ES in persons with DoC. This study aimed to identify clinician attitudes toward epilepsy prophylaxis, diagnosis and treatment in patients with DoC as well as current practice in regards to the use of amantadine in these individuals. A cross-sectional online survey was sent to members of the International Brain Injury Association (IBIA). Fifty physician responses were included in the final analysis. Withdrawal of antiepileptic drug/anti-seizure medications (AED/ASM) therapy was guided by the absence of evidence of clinical seizure whether or not the AED/ASM was given prophylactically or for actual seizure/epilepsy treatment. Standard EEG was the most frequent diagnostic method utilized. The majority of respondents ordered an EEG if there were concerns regarding lack of neurological progress. AED/ASM prescription was reported to be triggered by the first clinically evident seizure with levetiracetam being the AED/ASM of choice. Amantadine was frequently prescribed although less so in patients with epilepsy and/or EEG based epileptic abnormalities. A minority of respondents reported an association between amantadine and seizure. Longitudinal studies on epilepsy management, epilepsy impact on neurologic prognosis, as well as potential drug effects on seizure risk in persons with DoC appear warranted with the goal of pushing guideline development forward and improving clinical assessment and management of seizures in this unique, albeit challenging, population.
Project description:<h4>Background and purpose</h4>This study investigated the seizure recurrence rate and potential predictors of seizure recurrence following antiepileptic drug (AED) withdrawal after resective epilepsy surgery in children with focal cortical dysplasia (FCD).<h4>Methods</h4>We retrospectively analyzed the records of 70 children and adolescents with FCD types I, II, and IIIa who underwent resective epilepsy surgery between 2004 and 2015 and were followed for at least 2 years after surgery.<h4>Results</h4>We attempted AED withdrawal in 40 patients. The median time of starting the AED reduction was 10.8 months after surgery. Of these 40 patients, 14 patients (35%) experienced seizure recurrence during AED reduction or after AED withdrawal. Half of the 14 patients who experienced recurrence regained seizure freedom after AED reintroduction and optimization. Compared with their preoperative status, the AED dose or number was decreased in 57.1% of patients, and remained unchanged in 14.3% after surgery. A multivariate analysis found that incomplete resection (<i>p</i>=0.004) and epileptic discharges on the postoperative EEG (<i>p</i>=0.025) were important predictors of seizure recurrence after AED withdrawal. Over the mean follow-up duration of 4.5 years after surgery, 34 patients (48.6% of the entire cohort) were seizure-free with and without AEDs.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Children with incomplete resection and epileptic discharges on postoperative EEG are at a high risk of seizure recurrence after drug withdrawal. Complete resection of FCD may lead to a favorable surgical outcome and successful AED withdrawal after surgery.
Project description:Objective:Anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) are the primary therapeutic modalities for epilepsy management. However, one-third of epileptic patients continue to experience seizure even with appropriate AED use. Patients with epilepsy are at increased risk for seizure-related injury and they have higher incidences of home, street and work accidents. There is a paucity of data on AED use pattern and treatment outcomes among patients with epilepsy in the tertiary hospitals of Ethiopia. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess AED use pattern, treatment outcome, and prevalence of seizure-related injury among patients with epilepsy in Tikur Anbessa specialized Hospital (TASH), Ethiopia. Patients and Methods:An institution-based cross-sectional study was carried out on 291 patients with epilepsy attending the neurology clinic of TASH. A semi-structured questionnaire and data abstraction format were used to collect data through patient interview and medical chart review. Binary logistic regression was utilized to identify the associated factors of treatment outcome. Results:About 172 (59%) of the patients were taking a single AED, in which phenobarbital, 195 (67%), and phenytoin, 97 (33.3%), were the most frequently prescribed AEDs as monotherapy and combination therapy. Headache, depressed mood and epigastric pain were frequently reported as adverse drug reactions. Seizure-related injury was reported among 78 (26.8%) patients and head injury 15 (5.2%), desntal injury 15 (5.2%), soft tissue injury 14 (4.8%) and burns 10 (3.4%) were the commonest. About two-thirds (191, 65.6%) of the study participants had uncontrolled seizure. Medication adherence and multiple AEDs were significantly associated with treatment outcome. Conclusion:All the study participants were put on old generation AEDs with phenobarbital being the most frequently used. About two-thirds of the patients had uncontrolled seizure and seizure-related injury is still a serious concern among patients with epilepsy.
Project description:Purpose of the research: Epilepsy is a continuous process of neurodegeneration categorized by an enduring tendency to generate uncontrolled electrical firing known as seizures causing involuntary movement all over the body. Cognitive impairment and behavioral disturbances are among the more alarming co-morbidities of epilepsy. Anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) were found to be successful in controlling epilepsy but are reported to worsen cognitive status in patients. Embelin (EMB) is a benzoquinone derived from the plant Embelia ribes and is reported to have central nervous system (CNS) activity. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of EMB against pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) induced acute seizures and its associated cognitive dysfunction. This was done via docking studies as well as evaluating neurotransmitter and gene expression in the zebrafish brain. The principal results: Behavioral observations showed that EMB reduced epileptic seizures and the T-maze study revealed that EMB improved the cognitive function of the fish. The docking study of EMB showed a higher affinity toward gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABAA) receptor as compared to the standard diazepam, raising the possibility of EMB working via the alpha subunit of the GABA receptor. EMB was found to modulate several genes, neurotransmitters, and also neuronal growth, all of which play an important role in improving cognitive status after epileptic seizures. Healthy zebrafish treated with EMB alone were found to have no behavioral and biochemical interference or side effects. The immunohistochemistry data suggested that EMB also promotes neuronal protection and neuronal migration in zebrafish brains. Major Conclusions: It was perceived that EMB suppresses seizure-like behavior via GABAA receptor pathway and has a positive impact on cognitive functions. The observed effect was supported by docking study, T-maze behavior, neurotransmitter and gene expression levels, and immunohistology study. The apparatus such as the T-maze and seizure scoring behavior tank were found to be a straightforward technique to score seizure and test learning ability after acute epileptic seizures. These research findings suggest that EMB could be a promising molecule for epilepsy induced learning and memory dysfunction.
Project description:This study aims to evaluate the overall prognosis, prognostic factors, and efficacy of treatment in patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis (MTLE-HS) who have access to third generation anti-epileptic drugs but not to epilepsy surgery. Eighty-five MTLE-HS patients were retrospectively placed into a seizure-free (seizure-free for >1year) or drug-resistant group, and the two groups were compared on the basis of age, sex, age at onset of seizures, duration of epilepsy, side of lesion, handedness, EEG findings, history of CNS infection, history of febrile convulsions, history of head trauma, history of cognitive impairment, family history of seizures, number of current anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs), total number of AED trials, and presence of individual AEDs. Only 24.7% of MTLE-HS patients had achieved seizure freedom for >1 year. Poor prognosis and drug-resistance were associated with younger age at onset of seizures (p=0.002), longer duration of epilepsy (p=0.018), greater number of current AEDs (p<0.001), and greater total number of AED trials (p<0.001). In addition, regimens with newer AEDs had no greater efficacy than regimens with older AEDs. Most medically managed MTLE-HS patients do not achieve seizure freedom despite multiple AED trials, and treatment with third generation AEDs should not preclude evaluation for epilepsy surgery.
Project description:PcActx peptide, identified from the transcriptome of zoantharian <i>Palythoa caribaeorum,</i> was clustered into the phylogeny of analgesic polypeptides from sea anemone <i>Heteractis crispa</i> (known as APHC peptides). APHC peptides were considered as inhibitors of transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 (TRPV1). TRPV1 is a calcium-permeable channel expressed in epileptic brain areas, serving as a potential target for preventing epileptic seizures. Through <i>in silico</i> and <i>in vitro</i> analysis, PcActx peptide was shown to be a potential TRPV1 channel blocker. <i>In vivo</i> studies showed that the linear and oxidized PcActx peptides caused concentration-dependent increases in mortality of zebrafish larvae. However, monotreatment with PcActx peptides below the maximum tolerated doses (MTD) did not affect locomotor behavior. Moreover, PcActx peptides (both linear and oxidized forms) could effectively reverse pentylenetetrazol (PTZ)-induced seizure-related behavior in zebrafish larvae and prevent overexpression of <i>c-fos</i> and <i>npas4a</i> at the mRNA level. The excessive production of ROS induced by PTZ was markedly attenuated by both linear and oxidized PcActx peptides. It was also verified that the oxidized PcActx peptide was more effective than the linear one. In particular, oxidized PcActx peptide notably modulated the mRNA expression of genes involved in calcium signaling and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic-glutamatergic signaling, including <i>calb1, calb2</i>, <i>gabra1</i>, <i>grm1</i>, <i>gria1b</i>, <i>grin2b, gat1</i>, <i>slc1a2b, gad1b,</i> and <i>glsa</i>. Taken together, PcActx peptide, as a novel neuroactive peptide, exhibits prominent anti-epileptic activity, probably through modulating calcium signaling and GABAergic-glutamatergic signaling, and is a promising candidate for epilepsy management.