Neuronal and glial pathological changes during epileptogenesis in the mouse pilocarpine model.

Department of PharmacologyEmory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.
Experimental Neurology (Impact Factor: 4.62). 08/2003; 182(1):21-34. DOI: 10.1016/S0014-4886(03)00086-4
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The rodent pilocarpine model of epilepsy exhibits hippocampal sclerosis and spontaneous seizures and thus resembles human temporal lobe epilepsy. Use of the many available mouse mutants to study this epilepsy model would benefit from a detailed neuropathology study. To identify new features of epileptogenesis, we characterized glial and neuronal pathologies after pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus (SE) in CF1 and C57BL/6 mice focusing on the hippocampus. All CF1 mice showed spontaneous seizures by 17-27 days after SE. By 6 h there was virtually complete loss of hilar neurons, but the extent of pyramidal cell death varied considerably among mice. In the mossy fiber pathway, neuropeptide Y (NPY) was persistently upregulated beginning 1 day after SE; NPY immunoreactivity in the supragranular layer after 31 days indicated mossy fiber sprouting. beta2 microglobulin-positive activated microglia, normally absent in brains without SE, became abundant over 3-31 days in regions of neuronal loss, including the hippocampus and the amygdala. Astrogliosis developed after 10 days in damaged areas. Amyloid precursor protein immunoreactivity in the thalamus at 10 days suggested delayed axonal degeneration. The mortality after pilocarpine injection was very high in C57BL/6 mice from Jackson Laboratories but not those from Charles River, suggesting that mutant mice in the C57BL/6(JAX) strain will be difficult to study in the pilocarpine model, although their neuropathology was similar to CF1 mice. Major neuropathological changes not previously studied in the rodent pilocarpine model include widespread microglial activation, delayed thalamic axonal death, and persistent NPY upregulation in mossy fibers, together revealing extensive and persistent glial as well as neuronal pathology.

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