Focal cortical dysplasia is characterized by disorganized cortical lamination, dysplastic and heterotopic neurons, and an association with epilepsy. The contribution that dysplastic and heterotopic neurons make to epileptogenesis in focal cortical dysplasia is unknown and the phenotype of these cells may be distinct. The authors hypothesized that the expression of genes encoding glutamatergic (glutamate [GluR] and N-methyl-D-aspartate NMDA receptors [NR]) and gamma-aminobutyric acid A receptor (GABA(A)R) subunits is distinct in dysplastic and heterotopic neurons and that changes in receptor gene expression could be defined in a cell-specific pattern.
Single immunohistochemically labeled dysplastic and heterotopic neurons were microdissected from human focal cortical dysplasia specimens obtained during epilepsy surgery. Pyramidal neurons were microdissected from postmortem control cortex and from temporal cortex without dysplasia resected during temporal lobectomy. Poly (A) messenger RNA (mRNA) from single neurons was amplified, radiolabeled, and used to probe complementary DNA (cDNA) arrays containing GluR(1-6), NR(1A,1B), NR(2A-D), and GABA(A)Ralpha(1-6), and -Rbeta(1-3) subunit cDNAS: The relative hybridization intensities of each mRNA-cDNA hybrid were quantified by phosphorimaging.
GluR, NR, and GABA(A)R subunit mRNA expression did not differ between control neurons and nondysplastic epilepsy specimens. Expression of GluR(4), NR(2B), and NR(2C) subunit mRNA was increased, and NR(2A) and GABA(A)Rbeta(1) subunit mRNA was decreased in dysplastic compared with pyramidal and heterotopic neurons. In contrast, GABA(A)Ralpha(1), -Ralpha(2), and -Rbeta(2) as well as GluR(1) mRNA levels were reduced in both dysplastic and heterotopic neurons.
Differential expression of GluR, NR, and GABA(A)R mRNA in dysplastic and heterotopic neurons demonstrates cell specific gene transcription changes in focal cortical dysplasia. These results suggest that dysplastic and heterotopic neurons may be pharmacologically distinct and make differential contributions epileptogenesis in focal cortical dysplasia.
"The samples of fresh human brain tissue come from patients who underwent epilepsy surgery because of a heterogeneous group of epilepsy etiologies such as tuberous sclerosis complex [17, 20, 21] and other malformations of cortical development [15–17] and from patients with epilepsy of unknown etiology [15–17, 20]. Control tissue usually comes from autopsies of subjects who died from nonneurological causes [15, 17, 20, 21]. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neuronal activity is critical for synaptogenesis and the development of neuronal networks. In the immature brain excitation predominates over inhibition facilitating the development of normal brain circuits, but also rendering it more susceptible to seizures. In this paper, we review the evolution of the subunit composition of neurotransmitter receptors during development, how it promotes excitation in the immature brain, and how this subunit composition of neurotransmission receptors may be also present in the epileptic brain. During normal brain development, excitatory glutamate receptors peak in function and gamma-aminobutiric acid (GABA) receptors are mainly excitatory rather than inhibitory. A growing body of evidence from animal models of epilepsy and status epilepticus has demonstrated that the brain exposed to repeated seizures presents a subunit composition of neurotransmitter receptors that mirrors that of the immature brain and promotes further seizures and epileptogenesis. Studies performed in samples from the epileptic human brain have also found a subunit composition pattern of neurotransmitter receptors similar to the one found in the immature brain. These findings provide a solid rationale for tailoring antiepileptic treatments to the specific subunit composition of neurotransmitter receptors and they provide potential targets for the development of antiepileptogenic treatments.
BioMed Research International 09/2014; 2014:301950. DOI:10.1155/2014/301950 · 2.71 Impact Factor
"In addition, epileptogenic activities were sensitive to NR2B-specific inhibitors . On the other hand, reduced mRNA levels of GABA-A (γ-aminobutyric acid) receptor subunit  and decreased pre-synaptic release  indicated a role in FCD epileptogenesis for abnormalities of GABA-mediated synaptic inhibition. Nevertheless, the precise mechanisms of the intrinsic hyperexcitability in FCD remain to be fully clarified. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Whether severe epilepsy could be a progressive disorder remains as yet unresolved. We previously demonstrated in a rat model of acquired focal cortical dysplasia, the methylazoxymethanol/pilocarpine - MAM/pilocarpine - rats, that the occurrence of status epilepticus (SE) and subsequent seizures fostered a pathologic process capable of modifying the morphology of cortical pyramidal neurons and NMDA receptor expression/localization. We have here extended our analysis by evaluating neocortical and hippocampal changes in MAM/pilocarpine rats at different epilepsy stages, from few days after onset up to six months of chronic epilepsy. Our findings indicate that the process triggered by SE and subsequent seizures in the malformed brain i) is steadily progressive, deeply altering neocortical and hippocampal morphology, with atrophy of neocortex and CA regions and progressive increase of granule cell layer dispersion; ii) changes dramatically the fine morphology of neurons in neocortex and hippocampus, by increasing cell size and decreasing both dendrite arborization and spine density; iii) induces reorganization of glutamatergic and GABAergic networks in both neocortex and hippocampus, favoring excitatory vs inhibitory input; iv) activates NMDA regulatory subunits. Taken together, our data indicate that, at least in experimental models of brain malformations, severe seizure activity, i.e., SE plus recurrent seizures, may lead to a widespread, steadily progressive architectural, neuronal and synaptic reorganization in the brain. They also suggest the mechanistic relevance of glutamate/NMDA hyper-activation in the seizure-related brain pathologic plasticity.
PLoS ONE 02/2014; 9(2):e89898. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0089898 · 3.23 Impact Factor
"They found changes in GABA A receptors with reorganization of specific receptor subtypes in some cells and interneurons. In addition, Crino et al. (2001) found different patterns of GABA A receptor subunit expression in cortical dysplasia. Using immunohistochemistry, the authors observed a decrease in the expression of the b1 subunit in dysplastic neurons compared with pyramidal and heterotopic neurons. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is the most common form of partial epilepsy and affects 40% of the patients. Seizures arising from the mesial temporal lobe structures (i.e., amygdala and hippocampus) are common, whereas neocortical seizures are rare. In recent years, many studies aimed to identify the pattern of gene expression of neurotransmitters involved in molecular mechanisms of epilepsy. We used real-time PCR to quantify the expression of GABA(A) (subunits α1, β1, β2) and NMDA (subunits NR1, NR2A, and NR2B) receptor genes in amygdalae of 27 patients with TLE and 14 amygdalae from autopsy controls. The NR1 subunit was increased in patients with epilepsy when compared with controls. No differences were found in expression of NMDA subunits NR2A and NR2B or in α1, β1, and β2 subunits of GABA(A) receptors. Our results suggest that the NR1 subunit of NMDA receptors is involved in the amygdala hyperexcitability in some of the patients with TLE.
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