Inhibition of calcium/calmodulin kinase II α subunit expression results in epileptiform activity in cultured hippocampal neurons

Department of Neurology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, VA 23298, USA.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.67). 06/2000; 97(10):5604-9. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.080071697
Source: PubMed


Several models that develop epileptiform discharges and epilepsy have been associated with a decrease in the activity of calmodulin-dependent kinase II. However, none of these studies has demonstrated a causal relationship between a decrease in calcium/calmodulin kinase II activity and the development of seizure activity. The present study was conducted to determine the effect of directly reducing calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase activity on the development of epileptiform discharges in hippocampal neurons in culture. Complimentary oligonucleotides specific for the alpha subunit of the calcium/calmodulin kinase were used to decrease the expression of the enzyme. Reduction in kinase expression was confirmed by Western analysis, immunocytochemistry, and exogenous substrate phosphorylation. Increased neuronal excitability and frank epileptiform discharges were observed after a significant reduction in calmodulin kinase II expression. The epileptiform activity was a synchronous event and was not caused by random neuronal firing. Furthermore, the magnitude of decreased kinase expression correlated with the increased neuronal excitability. The data suggest that decreased calmodulin kinase II activity may play a role in epileptogenesis and the long-term plasticity changes associated with the development of pathological seizure activity and epilepsy.

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    • "Singleton et al. 52 showed that SE caused inhibition of CaMKII activity from hippocampal homogenates of pilocarpine-treated rats. Because CaMKII positively modulates both excitatory and inhibitory synaptic receptor function, perturbations in CaMKII activity would result in alterations of membrane excitability 52, 56. Singleton et al. 52 further speculated that inhibition of CaMKII activity may decrease GABAergic tone by either a disruption of GABA channel function or an impairment in neurotransmitter synthesis and release. "
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives There is accumulating evidence to suggest psychiatric disorders, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, share common etiologies, pathophysiologies, genetics, and drug responses with many of the epilepsies. Here, we explored overlaps in cellular/molecular, electrophysiological, and behavioral phenotypes between putative mouse models of bipolar disorder/schizophrenia and epilepsy. We tested the hypothesis that an immature dentate gyrus (iDG), whose association with psychosis in patients has recently been reported, represents a common phenotype of both diseases. Methods Behaviors of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II alpha (α-CaMKII) heterozygous knock-out (KO) mice, which are a representative bipolar disorder/schizophrenia model displaying iDG, and pilocarpine-treated mice, which are a representative epilepsy model, were tested followed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR)/immunohistochemistry for mRNA/protein expression associated with an iDG phenotype. In vitro electrophysiology of dentate gyrus granule cells (DG GCs) was examined in pilocarpine-treated epileptic mice. Results The two disease models demonstrated similar behavioral deficits, such as hyperactivity, poor working memory performance, and social withdrawal. Significant reductions in mRNA expression and immunoreactivity of the mature neuronal marker calbindin and concomitant increases in mRNA expression and immunoreactivity of the immature neuronal marker calretinin represent iDG signatures that are present in both mice models. Electrophysiologically, we have confirmed that DG GCs from pilocarpine-treated mice represent an immature state. A significant decrease in hippocampal α-CaMKII protein levels was also found in both models. Conclusions Our data have shown iDG signatures from mouse models of both bipolar disorder/schizophrenia and epilepsy. The evidence suggests that the iDG may, in part, be responsible for the abnormal behavioral phenotype, and that the underlying pathophysiologies in epilepsy and bipolar disorder/schizophrenia are strikingly similar.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · Bipolar Disorders
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    • "Changes neuronal excitability and the frank epileptiform discharges Churn SB , et al . ( 2000 )"
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    ABSTRACT: The molecular mechanism underlying tumor-induced epileptogenesis is poorly understood. Alterations in the peritumoral microenvironment are believed to play a significant role in inducing epileptogenesis. We hypothesize that the change of gene expression in brain peritumoral tissues may contribute to the increased neuronal excitability and epileptogenesis. To identify the genes possibly involved in tumor-induced epilepsy, a genome-wide gene expression profiling was conducted using Affymetrix HG U133 plus 2.0 arrays and RNAs derived from formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) peritumoral cortex tissue slides from 5-seizure vs. 5-non-seizure low grade brain tumor patients. We identified many differentially expressed genes (DEGs). Seven dysregulated genes (i.e., C1QB, CALCRL, CCR1, KAL1, SLC1A2, SSTR1 and TYRO3) were validated by qRT-PCR, which showed a high concordance. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) showed that epilepsy subjects were clustered together tightly (except one sample) and were clearly separated from the non-epilepsy subjects. Molecular functional categorization showed that significant portions of the DEGs functioned as receptor activity, molecular binding including enzyme binding and transcription factor binding. Pathway analysis showed these DEGs were mainly enriched in focal adhesion, ECM-receptor interaction, and cell adhesion molecules pathways. In conclusion, our study showed that dysregulation of gene expression in the peritumoral tissues may be one of the major mechanisms of brain tumor induced-epilepsy. However, due to the small sample size of the present study, further validation study is needed. A deeper characterization on the dysregulated genes involved in brain tumor-induced epilepsy may shed some light on the management of epilepsy due to brain tumors.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    • "The HNC models of AE and SE used in this study simulate many electrophysiological features, for example that in zero external magnesium medium, pyramidal neurons from high-density cultures produced recurrent spontaneous action potential bursts superimposed on prolonged depolarizations, which were partially attenuated by the NMDA receptor antagonist APV [5], [6]. The models are well suited to carry out biochemical, molecular [30] and electrophysiological investigations [4]. In addition, the two in vitro models have been commonly used to study the mechanisms underlying seizures, seizure-induced plasticity, physiology and molecular changes and development of pharmacoresistant seizures [31], [32]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders, yet its treatment remains unsatisfactory. Saikosaponin a (SSa), a triterpene saponin derived from Bupleurum chinensis DC., has been demonstrated to have significant antiepileptic activity in a variety of epilepsy models in vivo. However, the electrophysiological activities and mechanisms of the antiepileptic properties of SSa remain unclear. In this study, whole-cell current-clamp recordings were used to evaluate the anticonvulsant activities of SSa in the hippocampal neuronal culture (HNC) models of acquired epilepsy (AE) and status epilepticus (SE). Whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings were used to evaluate the modulation effects of SSa on NMDA-evoked current and sodium currents in cultured hippocampal neurons. We found that SSa effectively terminated spontaneous recurrent epileptiform discharges (SREDs) in the HNC model of AE and continuous epileptiform high-frequency bursts (SE) in the HNC model of SE, in a concentration-dependent manner with an IC(50) of 0.42 µM and 0.62 µM, respectively. Furthermore, SSa significantly reduced the peak amplitude of NMDA-evoked current and the peak current amplitude of I(NaP). These results suggest for the first time that the inhibitions of NMDA receptor current and I(NaP) may be the underlying mechanisms of SSa's anticonvulsant properties, including the suppression of SREDs and SE in the HNC models of AE and SE. In addition, effectively abolishing the refractory SE implies that SSa may be a potential anticonvulsant candidate for the clinical treatment of epilepsy.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · PLoS ONE
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