Expression of connexin genes in hippocampus of kainate-treated and kindled rats under conditions of experimental epilepsy
ABSTRACT We have analyzed whether the expression of connexin genes is altered in the hippocampus of kindled and kainate-treated rats, i.e., animal models of human temporal lobe epilepsy. We have tested this hypothesis by analyzing mRNA, protein abundance and cellular location of connexins (Cx) 43, 36, 32 and 30. The expression of glial fibrillary acid protein and mRNA was also monitored both in kainate-treated and kindled rats, in order to take into account reactive gliosis under these conditions. We found significantly increased expression of GFAP mRNA (100%) and protein (178%) in kainate-treated rats 4 weeks after kainate application, whereas in kindled rats only moderate increases of GFAP mRNA and protein were detected 2–3 weeks (group 2) or 4–6 weeks (group 1) after the last stage 5 induced seizure. Under gliotic conditions, connexins 43 and 30 mRNA or protein expression in astrocytes of kainate-treated rats were nearly unaffected. Cx36 mRNA expression (presumably in neurons) was significantly reduced (44%), whereas abundance of Cx36 protein was only slightly reduced. In both groups of kindled rats, Cx30 and Cx43 mRNA or protein expression were either slightly decreased or unchanged. Again, Cx36 mRNA and protein expression were reduced by about half in group 2. Immunofluorescence analysis of Cx43, Cx36 and Cx30 expression revealed that 4 weeks after the last kainate administration or kindling, cellular localization of these connexins was indistinguishable from control animals.
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ABSTRACT: Experimental advances in the study of neuroglia signaling have been greatly accelerated by the generation of transgenic mouse models. In particular, an elegant manipulation that interferes with astrocyte vesicular release of gliotransmitters via overexpression of a dominant-negative domain of vesicular SNARE (dnSNARE) has led to documented astrocytic involvement in processes that were traditionally considered strictly neuronal, including the sleep-wake cycle, LTP, cognition, cortical slow waves, depression, and pain. A key premise leading to these conclusions was that expression of the dnSNARE was specific to astrocytes. Inconsistent with this premise, we report here widespread expression of the dnSNARE transgene in cortical neurons. We further demonstrate that the activity of cortical neurons is reversibly suppressed in dnSNARE mice. These findings highlight the need for independent validation of astrocytic functions identified in dnSNARE mice and thus question critical evidence that astrocytes contribute to neurotransmission through SNARE-dependent vesicular release of gliotransmitters. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3416594-11$15.00/0.The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 12/2014; 34(50):16594-16604. DOI:10.1523/JNeurosci.2585-14.2014 · 6.75 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Gap junction (GJ) channels have been recognized as an important mechanism for synchronizing neuronal networks. Herein, we investigated the participation of GJ channels in the pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus (SE) by analyzing electrophysiological activity following the blockade of connexins (Cx)-mediated communication. In addition, we examined the regulation of gene expression, protein levels, phosphorylation profile and distribution of neuronal Cx36, Cx45 and glial Cx43 in the rat hippocampus during the acute and latent periods. Electrophysiological recordings revealed that the GJ blockade anticipates the occurrence of low voltage oscillations and promotes a marked reduction of power in all analyzed frequencies. Cx36 gene expression and protein levels remained stable in acute and latent periods, whereas upregulation of Cx45 gene expression and protein redistribution were detected in the latent period. We also observed upregulation of Cx43 mRNA levels followed by changes in the phosphorylation profile and protein accumulation. Taken together, our results indisputably revealed that GJ communication participates in the epileptiform activity induced by pilocarpine. Moreover, considering that specific Cxs undergo alterations through acute and latent periods, this study indicates that the control of GJ communication may represent a focus in reliable anti-epileptogenic strategies.PLoS ONE 10/2014; 9(10). DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0109149 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Introduction Gap junctions are intercellular membrane channels that provide direct cytoplasmic continuity between adjacent cells. This communication can be affected by changes in expression of gap junctional subunits called Connexins (Cx). Changes in the expression and function of connexins are associated with number of brain neurodegenerative diseases. Neuroinflammation is a hallmark of various central nervous system (CNS) diseases, like multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy. Neuroinflammation causes change in Connexins expression. Hippocampus, one of the main brain regions with a wide network of Gap junctions between different neural cell types, has particular vulnerability to damage and consequent inflammation. Cx32 – among Connexins– is expressed in hippocampal Olygodandrocytes and some neural subpopulations. Although multiple lines of evidence indicate that there is an association between neuroinflammation and the expression of connexin, the direct effect of neuroinflammation on the expression of connexins has not been well studied. In the present study, the effect of neuroinflammation induced by the Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) on Cx32 gene and protein expressions in rat hippocampus is evaluated. Methods LPS (2.5µg/rat) was infused into the rat cerebral ventricles for 14 days. Cx32 mRNA and protein levels were measured by Real Time PCR and Western Blot after 1st, 7th and 14th injection of LPS in the hippocampus. Results Significant increase in Cx32 mRNA expression was observed after 7th injection of LPS (P < 0.001). However, no significant change was observed in Cx32 protein level. Conclusion LPS seems to modify Cx32 GJ communication in the hippocampus at transcription level but not at translation or post-translation level. In order to have a full view concerning modification of Cx32 GJ communication, effect of LPS on Cx32 channel gating should also be determined.Autonomic neuroscience: basic & clinical 04/2013; 4(4):334-40. · 1.37 Impact Factor