Dual and Opposing Roles of MicroRNA-124 in Epilepsy Are Mediated through Inflammatory and NRSF-Dependent Gene Networks.
ABSTRACT: Insult-provoked transformation of neuronal networks into epileptic ones involves multiple mechanisms. Intervention studies have identified both dysregulated inflammatory pathways and NRSF-mediated repression of crucial neuronal genes as contributors to epileptogenesis. However, it remains unclear how epilepsy-provoking insults (e.g., prolonged seizures) induce both inflammation and NRSF and whether common mechanisms exist. We examined miR-124 as a candidate dual regulator of NRSF and inflammatory pathways. Status epilepticus (SE) led to reduced miR-124 expression via SIRT1--and, in turn, miR-124 repression--via C/EBP? upregulated NRSF. We tested whether augmenting miR-124 after SE would abort epileptogenesis by preventing inflammation and NRSF upregulation. SE-sustaining animals developed epilepsy, but supplementing miR-124 did not modify epileptogenesis. Examining this result further, we found that synthetic miR-124 not only effectively blocked NRSF upregulation and rescued NRSF target genes, but also augmented microglia activation and inflammatory cytokines. Thus, miR-124 attenuates epileptogenesis via NRSF while promoting epilepsy via inflammation.
Project description:The mechanisms by which brain insults lead to subsequent epilepsy remain unclear. Insults, including trauma, stroke, tumors, infections, and long seizures [status epilepticus (SE)], create a neuronal state of increased metabolic demand or decreased energy supply. Neurons express molecules that monitor their metabolic state, including sirtuins (Sirts). Sirtuins deacetylate cytoplasmic proteins and nuclear histones, and their epigenetic modulation of the chromatin governs the expression of many genes, influencing neuronal properties. Thus, sirtuins are poised to enduringly modulate neuronal properties following SE, potentially contributing to epileptogenesis, a hypothesis supported by the epilepsy-attenuating effects of blocking a downstream target of Sirt1, Neuron-Restrictive Silencer Factor (NRSF) also know as REST (RE1-Silencing Transcription factor). Here we used an adult male rat model of epileptogenesis provoked by kainic acid-induced SE (KA-SE). We assessed KA-SE-provoked Sirt1 activity, infused a Sirt1 inhibitor (EX-527) after KA-SE, and examined for epileptogenesis using continuous digital video-EEG. Sirt1 activity, measured using chromatin immunoprecipitation for Sirt1 binding at a target gene, increased rapidly after SE. Post hoc infusion of the Sirt1 inhibitor prevented Sirt1-mediated repression of a target gene. Blocking Sirt1 activity transiently after KA-SE did not significantly influence the time- course and all of the parameters of epilepsy development. Specifically, latency to first seizure and seizure number, duration, and severity (using the Racine scale and EEG measures) as well as the frequency and duration of interictal spike series, were all unchanged. KA-SE provoked a robust inflammatory response and modest cell loss, yet neither was altered by blocking Sirt1. In conclusion, blocking Sirt1 activity after KA-SE does not abrogate epilepsy development, suggesting that the mechanisms of such acquired epileptogenesis are independent of Sirt1 function.
Project description:Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is a chronic neurological disease, in which about 30% of patients cannot be treated adequately with anti-epileptic drugs. Brain inflammation and remodeling of the extracellular matrix (ECM) seem to play a major role in TLE. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are proteolytic enzymes largely responsible for the remodeling of the ECM. The inhibition of MMPs has been suggested as a novel therapy for epilepsy; however, available MMP inhibitors lack specificity and cause serious side effects. We studied whether MMPs could be modulated via microRNAs (miRNAs). Several miRNAs mediate inflammatory responses in the brain, which are known to control MMP expression. The aim of this study was to investigate whether an increased expression of MMPs after interleukin-1? (IL-1?) stimulation can be attenuated by inhibition of the inflammation-associated miR-155.We investigated the expression of MMP2, MMP3, MMP9, and MMP14 in cultured human fetal astrocytes after stimulation with the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1?. The cells were transfected with miR-155 antagomiR, and the effect on MMP3 expression was investigated using real-time quantitative PCR and Western blotting. Furthermore, we characterized MMP3 and miR-155 expression in brain tissue of TLE patients with hippocampal sclerosis (TLE-HS) and during epileptogenesis in a rat TLE model.Inhibition of miR-155 by the antagomiR attenuated MMP3 overexpression after IL-1? stimulation in astrocytes. Increased expression of MMP3 and miR-155 was also evident in the hippocampus of TLE-HS patients and throughout epileptogenesis in the rat TLE model.Our experiments showed that MMP3 is dynamically regulated by seizures as shown by increased expression in TLE tissue and during different phases of epileptogenesis in the rat TLE model. MMP3 can be induced by the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1? and is regulated by miR-155, suggesting a possible strategy to prevent epilepsy via reduction of inflammation.
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.
Project description:The mechanisms generating epileptic neuronal networks following insults such as severe seizures are unknown. We have previously shown that interfering with the function of the neuron-restrictive silencer factor (NRSF/REST), an important transcription factor that influences neuronal phenotype, attenuated development of this disorder. In this study, we found that epilepsy-provoking seizures increased the low NRSF levels in mature hippocampus several fold yet surprisingly, provoked repression of only a subset (?10%) of potential NRSF target genes. Accordingly, the repressed gene-set was rescued when NRSF binding to chromatin was blocked. Unexpectedly, genes selectively repressed by NRSF had mid-range binding frequencies to the repressor, a property that rendered them sensitive to moderate fluctuations of NRSF levels. Genes selectively regulated by NRSF during epileptogenesis coded for ion channels, receptors, and other crucial contributors to neuronal function. Thus, dynamic, selective regulation of NRSF target genes may play a role in influencing neuronal properties in pathological and physiological contexts.
Project description:MicroRNA-21 (miR-21) is consistently up-regulated in various neurological disorders, including epilepsy. Here, we show that the biogenesis of miR-21 is altered following pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus (SE) with an increase in precursor miR-21 (pre-miR-21) in rats. We demonstrate that pre-miR-21 has an energetically favorable site overlapping with the miR-21 binding site and competes with mature miR-21 for binding in the 3'UTR of TGFBR2 mRNA, but not NT-3 mRNA in vitro. This binding competition influences miR-21-mediated repression in vitro and correlates with the increase in TGFBR2 and decrease in NT-3 following SE. Polysome profiling reveals co-localization of pre-miR-21 in the ribosome fraction with translating mRNAs in U-87 cells. The current work suggests that pre-miR-21 may post-transcriptionally counteract miR-21-mediated suppression following SE and could potentially lead to prolonged TGF-? receptor expression impacting epileptogenesis. The study further supports that the ratio of the pre to mature miRNA may be important in determining the regulatory effects of a miRNA gene.
Project description:The Mesio-Temporal Lobe Epilepsy syndrome is the most common form of intractable epilepsy. It is characterized by recurrence of focal seizures and is often associated with hippocampal sclerosis and drug resistance. We aimed to characterize the molecular changes occurring during the initial stages of epileptogenesis in search of new therapeutic targets for Mesio-Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. We used a mouse model obtained by intra-hippocampal microinjection of kainate and performed hippocampal whole genome expression analysis at 6h, 12h and 24h post-injection, followed by multilevel bioinformatics analysis. We report significant changes in immune and inflammatory responses, neuronal network reorganization processes and glial functions, predominantly initiated during status epilepticus at 12h and persistent after the end of status epilepticus at 24h post-kainate. Upstream regulator analysis highlighted Cyba, Cybb and Vim as central regulators of multiple overexpressed genes implicated in glial responses at 24h. In silico microRNA analysis indicated that miR-9, miR-19b, miR-129, and miR-223 may regulate the expression of glial-associated genes at 24h. Our data support the hypothesis that glial-mediated inflammatory response holds a key role during epileptogenesis, and that microglial cells may participate in the initial process of epileptogenesis through increased ROS production via the NOX complex.
Project description:Recent studies show a key role of brain inflammation in epilepsy. However, the mechanisms controlling brain immune response are only partly understood. In the periphery, acetylcholine (ACh) release by the vagus nerve restrains inflammation by inhibiting the activation of leukocytes. Recent reports suggested a similar anti-inflammatory effect for ACh in the brain. Since brain cholinergic dysfunctions are documented in epileptic animals, we explored changes in brain cholinergic gene expression and associated immune response during pilocarpine-induced epileptogenesis. Levels of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and inflammatory markers were measured using real-time RT-PCR, in-situ hybridization and immunostaining in wild type (WT) and transgenic mice over-expressing the "synaptic" splice variant AChE-S (TgS). One month following pilocarpine, mice were video-monitored for spontaneous seizures. To test directly the effect of ACh on the brain's innate immune response, cytokines expression levels were measured in acute brain slices treated with cholinergic agents. We report a robust up-regulation of AChE as early as 48 h following pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus (SE). AChE was expressed in hippocampal neurons, microglia, and endothelial cells but rarely in astrocytes. TgS mice overexpressing AChE showed constitutive increased microglial activation, elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines 48 h after SE and accelerated epileptogenesis compared to their WT counterparts. Finally we show a direct, muscarine-receptor dependant, nicotine-receptor independent anti-inflammatory effect of ACh in brain slices maintained ex vivo. Our work demonstrates for the first time, that ACh directly suppresses brain innate immune response and that AChE up-regulation after SE is associated with enhanced immune response, facilitating the epileptogenic process. Our results highlight the cholinergic system as a potential new target for the prevention of seizures and epilepsy.
Project description:Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is a chronic neurological disease in humans, which is refractory to pharmacological treatment in about 30% of the patients. Reactive glial cells are thought to play a major role during the development of epilepsy (epileptogenesis) via regulation of brain inflammation and remodeling of the extracellular matrix (ECM). These processes can be regulated by microRNAs (miRs), a class of small non-coding RNAs, which can control entire gene networks at a post-transcriptional level. The expression of miRs is known to change dynamically during epileptogenesis. miR-132 is one of the most commonly upregulated miRs in animal TLE models with important roles shown in neurons. However, the possible role of miR-132 in glia remains largely unknown. The aim of this study was to characterize the cell-type specific expression of miR-132 in the hippocampus of patients with TLE and during epileptogenesis in a rat TLE model. Furthermore, the potential role of miR-132 was investigated by transfection of human primary cultured astrocytes that were stimulated with the cytokines IL-1? or TGF-?1. We showed an increased expression of miR-132 in the human and rat epileptogenic hippocampus, particularly in glial cells. Transfection of miR-132 in human primary astrocytes reduced the expression of pro-epileptogenic COX-2, IL-1?, TGF-?2, CCL2, and MMP3. This suggests that miR-132, particularly in astrocytes, represents a potential therapeutic target that warrants further in vivo investigation.
Project description:MicroRNAs perform important roles in the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. Sequencing as well as functional studies using antisense oligonucleotides indicate important roles for microRNAs during the development of epilepsy through targeting transcripts involved in neuronal structure, gliosis and inflammation. MicroRNA-22 (miR-22) has been reported to protect against the development of epileptogenic brain networks through suppression of neuroinflammatory signalling. Here, we used mice with a genetic deletion of miR-22 to extend these insights. Mice lacking miR-22 displayed normal behaviour and brain structure and developed similar status epilepticus after intraamygdala kainic acid compared to wildtype animals. Continuous EEG monitoring after status epilepticus revealed, however, an accelerated and exacerbated epilepsy phenotype whereby spontaneous seizures began sooner, occurred more frequently and were of longer duration in miR-22-deficient mice. RNA sequencing analysis of the hippocampus during the period of epileptogenesis revealed a specific suppression of inflammatory signalling in the hippocampus of miR-22-deficient mice. Taken together, these findings indicate a role for miR-22 in establishing early inflammatory responses to status epilepticus. Inflammatory signalling may serve anti-epileptogenic functions and cautions the timing of anti-inflammatory interventions for the treatment of status epilepticus.
Project description:Chronic inflammation contributes to the development of various forms of cancer. The polyamine catabolic enzyme spermine oxidase (SMOX) is induced in chronic inflammatory conditions, including Helicobacter pylori-associated gastritis, where its production of hydrogen peroxide contributes to DNA damage and subsequent tumorigenesis. MicroRNA expression levels are also altered in inflammatory conditions; specifically, the tumor suppressor miR-124 becomes silenced by DNA methylation. We sought to determine if this repression of miR-124 is associated with elevated SMOX activity and concluded that miR-124 is indeed a negative regulator of SMOX. In gastric adenocarcinoma cells harboring highly methylated and silenced mir-124 gene loci, 5-azacytidine treatment allowed miR-124 re-expression and decreased SMOX expression. Overexpression of an exogenous miR-124-3p mimic repressed SMOX mRNA and protein expression as well as H2O2 production by >50% within 24?h. Reporter assays indicated that direct interaction of miR-124 with the 3'-untranslated region of SMOX mRNA contributes to this negative regulation. Importantly, overexpression of miR-124 before infection with H. pylori prevented the induction of SMOX believed to contribute to inflammation-associated tumorigenesis. Compelling human in vivo data from H. pylori-positive gastritis tissues indicated that the mir-124 gene loci are more heavily methylated in a Colombian population characterized by elevated SMOX expression and a high risk for gastric cancer. Furthermore, the degree of mir-124 methylation significantly correlated with SMOX expression throughout the population. These results indicate a protective role for miR-124 through the inhibition of SMOX-mediated DNA damage in the etiology of H. pylori-associated gastric cancer.