Structural Plasticity of Dentate Granule Cell Mossy Fibers During the Development of Limbic Epilepsy

Department of Anesthesia, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039, USA.
Hippocampus (Impact Factor: 4.16). 01/2009; 20(1):113-24. DOI: 10.1002/hipo.20589
Source: PubMed


Altered granule cell>CA3 pyramidal cell synaptic connectivity may contribute to the development of limbic epilepsy. To explore this possibility, granule cell giant mossy fiber bouton plasticity was examined in the kindling and pilocarpine models of epilepsy using green fluorescent protein-expressing transgenic mice. These studies revealed significant increases in the frequency of giant boutons with satellite boutons 2 days and 1 month after pilocarpine status epilepticus, and increases in giant bouton area at 1 month. Similar increases in giant bouton area were observed shortly after kindling. Finally, both models exhibited plasticity of mossy fiber giant bouton filopodia, which contact GABAergic interneurons mediating feedforward inhibition of CA3 pyramids. In the kindling model, however, all changes were fleeting, having resolved by 1 month after the last evoked seizure. Together, these findings demonstrate striking structural plasticity of granule cell mossy fiber synaptic terminal structure in two distinct models of adult limbic epileptogenesis. We suggest that these plasticities modify local connectivities between individual mossy fiber terminals and their targets, inhibitory interneurons, and CA3 pyramidal cells potentially altering the balance of excitation and inhibition during the development of epilepsy.

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Available from: Steve C Danzer, Mar 03, 2014
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    • "IML sprouting is associated with seizure-induced changes such as cell death, altered extracellular matrix protein expression, and loss of axon guidance cues (Cavazos et al., 1991, Cavazos and Sutula, 1990, Holtmaat et al., 2003, Pollard et al., 1994). Plasticity of MFs in CA3 can occur in response to physiological stimuli such as exercise, in addition to seizures, and has been linked to loss of synaptic contacts in CA3 in a mTLE model (Danzer et al., 2010, McAuliffe et al., 2011, Schwarzer et al., 1995, Toscano-Silva et al., 2010). While nothing is known about seizure-related plasticity at the MF-CA2 synapse, recent data indicate that this synapse can be modulated by exercise and inflammation (Llorens-Martin et al., 2015). "
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    ABSTRACT: Dentate granule cell (DGC) mossy fiber sprouting (MFS) in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (mTLE) is thought to underlie the creation of aberrant circuitry which promotes the generation or spread of spontaneous seizure activity. Understanding the extent to which populations of DGCs participate in this circuitry could help determine how it develops and potentially identify therapeutic targets for regulating aberrant network activity. In this study, we investigated how DGC birthdate influences participation in MFS and other aspects of axonal plasticity using the rat pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus (SE) model of mTLE. We injected a retrovirus (RV) carrying a synaptophysin-yellow fluorescent protein (syp-YFP) fusion construct to birthdate DGCs and brightly label their axon terminals, and compared DGCs born during the neonatal period with those generated in adulthood. We found that both neonatal and adult-born DGC populations participate, to a similar extent, in SE-induced MFS within the dentate gyrus inner molecular layer (IML). SE did not alter hilar MF bouton density compared to sham-treated controls, but adult-born DGC bouton density was greater in the IML than in the hilus after SE. Interestingly, we also observed MF axonal reorganization in area CA2 in epileptic rats, and these changes arose from DGCs generated both neonatally and in adulthood. These data indicate that both neonatal and adult-generated DGCs contribute to axonal reorganization in the rat pilocarpine mTLE model, and indicate a more complex relationship between DGC age and participation in seizure-related plasticity than was previously thought.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Neurobiology of Disease
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    • "Subsequent studies revealed that these sprouted axons form excitatory synaptic connections with granule cell dendrites projecting through the IML, creating recurrent loops which have been hypothesized to promote hyperexcitability (for review, see Nadler, 2003). More recently, studies using models of temporal lobe epilepsy have identified ectopic granule cells (Parent et al., 1997; Scharfman et al., 2000; Overstreet-Wadiche et al., 2006), hypertrophied granule cells (Suzuki et al., 1995; Murphy et al., 2011, 2012), granule cells with basal dendrites (Ribak et al., 2000, 2012; Overstreet-Wadiche et al., 2006; Murphy and Danzer, 2011), and granule cells with altered synaptic structure (Pierce and Milner, 2001; Danzer et al., 2010; McAuliffe et al., 2011; Upreti et al., 2012) as common pathologies of the disorder. Interestingly, the dentate gyrus is one of only two regions exhibiting persistent neurogenesis in adulthood, and a majority of the granule cells exhibiting these pathological abnormalities appear to be newborn (Parent et al., 2006; Walter et al., 2007; Kron et al., 2010; Santos et al., 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: The phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase/phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN)-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway regulates a variety of neuronal functions, including cell proliferation, survival, growth, and plasticity. Dysregulation of the pathway is implicated in the development of both genetic and acquired epilepsies. Indeed, several causal mutations have been identified in patients with epilepsy, the most prominent of these being mutations in PTEN and tuberous sclerosis complexes 1 and 2 (TSC1, TSC2). These genes act as negative regulators of mTOR signaling, and mutations lead to hyperactivation of the pathway. Animal models deleting PTEN, TSC1, and TSC2 consistently produce epilepsy phenotypes, demonstrating that increased mTOR signaling can provoke neuronal hyperexcitability. Given the broad range of changes induced by altered mTOR signaling, however, the mechanisms underlying seizure development in these animals remain uncertain. In transgenic mice, cell populations with hyperactive mTOR have many structural abnormalities that support recurrent circuit formation, including somatic and dendritic hypertrophy, aberrant basal dendrites, and enlargement of axon tracts. At the functional level, mTOR hyperactivation is commonly, but not always, associated with enhanced synaptic transmission and plasticity. Moreover, these populations of abnormal neurons can affect the larger network, inducing secondary changes that may explain paradoxical findings reported between cell and network functioning in different models or at different developmental time points. Here, we review the animal literature examining the link between mTOR hyperactivation and epileptogenesis, emphasizing the impact of enhanced mTOR signaling on neuronal form and function.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience
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    • "Indeed, studies of human epilepsy clearly indicate that some patients report stress-induced seizures, and some do not [4]. It is reasonable to think that animals might show similar variability, and although attempts were made to keep experimental animals as homogenous as possible, the pilocarpine model of epilepsy can produce very heterogeneous patterns of cell loss and plasticity [53]. No overt differences in gross brain pathology were observed between “responding” and “non-responding” animals in the present study (data not shown), but the possibility that more subtle differences are important cannot be excluded. "
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    ABSTRACT: Stress is the most commonly reported precipitating factor for seizures in patients with epilepsy. Despite compelling anecdotal evidence for stress-induced seizures, animal models of the phenomena are sparse and possible mechanisms are unclear. Here, we tested the hypothesis that increased levels of the stress-associated hormone corticosterone (CORT) would increase epileptiform activity and spontaneous seizure frequency in mice rendered epileptic following pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus. We monitored video-EEG activity in pilocarpine-treated mice 24/7 for a period of four or more weeks, during which animals were serially treated with CORT or vehicle. CORT increased the frequency and duration of epileptiform events within the first 24 hours of treatment, and this effect persisted for up to two weeks following termination of CORT injections. Interestingly, vehicle injection produced a transient spike in CORT levels - presumably due to the stress of injection - and a modest but significant increase in epileptiform activity. Neither CORT nor vehicle treatment significantly altered seizure frequency; although a small subset of animals did appear responsive. Taken together, our findings indicate that treatment of epileptic animals with exogenous CORT designed to mimic chronic stress can induce a persistent increase in interictal epileptiform activity.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2012 · PLoS ONE
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