Seizure suppression by GDNF gene therapy in animal models of epilepsy.

Experimental Epilepsy Group, Wallenberg Neuroscience Center, Lund University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.
Molecular Therapy (Impact Factor: 6.43). 07/2007; 15(6):1106-13. DOI: 10.1038/
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Temporal lobe epilepsy patients remain refractory to available anti-epileptic drugs in 30% of cases, indicating a need for novel therapeutic strategies. In this context, glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) emerges as a possible new agent for epilepsy treatment. However, a limited number of studies, use of different epilepsy models, and different methods of GDNF delivery preclude understanding of the mechanisms for the seizure-suppressant action of GDNF. Here we show that recombinant adeno-associated viral (rAAV) vector-based GDNF overexpression in the rat hippocampus suppresses seizures in two models of temporal lobe epilepsy. First, when rAAV-GDNF was injected before hippocampal kindling, the number of generalized seizures decreased, and the prolongation of behavioral convulsions in fully kindled animals was prevented. Second, injection of rAAV-GDNF after kindling increased the seizure induction threshold. Third, rAAV-GDNF decreased the frequency of generalized seizures during the self-sustained phase of status epilepticus. Our data demonstrate the complexity of mechanisms and the beneficial action of GDNF in epilepsy. Furthermore, we show that ectopic rAAV-mediated GDNF gene expression in the seizure focus is a feasible way to mitigate seizures and provides proof of principle that the neurotrophic factor-based gene therapy approach has the potential to be developed as alternative strategy for epilepsy treatment.

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