Disruption, but not overexpression of urate oxidase alters susceptibility to pentylenetetrazole- and pilocarpine-induced seizures in mice
There is a continuous drive to find new, improved therapies that have a different mechanism of action in order to help diminish the sizable percentage of persons with pharmacoresistant epilepsy. Uric acid is increasingly recognized as contributing to the pathophysiology of multiple disorders, and there are indications that uric acid might play a role in epileptic mechanisms. Nevertheless, studies that directly investigate its involvement are lacking. In this study we assessed the susceptibility to pentylenetetrazole- and pilocarpine-induced seizures in mice with genetically altered uric acid levels by targeting urate oxidase, which is the enzyme responsible for uric acid breakdown. We found that although disruption of urate oxidase resulted in a decreased susceptibility to all behavioral end points in both seizure models, overexpression did not result in any alterations when compared to their wild-type littermates. Our results suggest that a chronic increase in uric acid levels may result in decreased brain excitability.
Posttraumatic seizures (PTS) commonly occur following severe traumatic brain injury (sTBI). Risk factors for PTS have been identified, but variability in who develops PTS remains. Excitotoxicity may influence epileptogenesis following sTBI. Glutamate transporters manage glutamate levels and excitatory neurotransmission, and they have been associated with both epilepsy and TBI. Therefore, we aimed to determine if genetic variation in neuronal glutamate transporter genes is associated with accelerated epileptogenesis and increased PTS risk after sTBI.Methods
Individuals (N = 253) 18–75 years of age with sTBI were assessed for genetic relationships with PTS. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within SLC1A1 and SLC1A6 were assayed. Kaplan-Meier estimates and log-rank statistics were used to compare seizure rates from injury to 3 years postinjury for SNPs by genotype. Hazard ratios (HRs) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards regression for SNPs significant in Kaplan-Meier analyses adjusting for known PTS risk factors.Results
Thirty-two tagging SNPs were examined (SLC1A1: n = 28, SLC1A6: n = 4). Forty-nine subjects (19.37%) had PTS. Of these, 18 (36.7%) seized within 7 days, and 31 (63.3%) seized between 8 days and 3 years post-TBI. With correction for multiple comparisons, genotypes at SNP rs10974620 (SLC1A1) were significantly associated with time to first seizure across the full 3-year follow-up (seizure rates: 77.1% minor allele homozygotes, 24.8% heterozygotes, 16.6% major allele homozygotes; p = 0.001). When seizure follow-up began day 2 postinjury, genotypes at SNP rs7858819 (SLC1A1) were significantly associated with PTS risk (seizure rates: 52.7% minor allele homozygotes, 11.8% heterozygotes, 21.1% major allele homozygotes; p = 0.002). After adjusting for covariates, we found that rs10974620 remained significant (p = 0.017, minor allele versus major allele homozygotes HR 3.4, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.3–9.3). rs7858819 also remained significant in adjusted models (p = 0.023, minor allele versus major allele homozygotes HR 3.4, 95%CI 1.1–10.5).Significance
Variations within SLC1A1 are associated with risk of epileptogenesis following sTBI. Future studies need to confirm findings, but variation within neuronal glutamate transporter genes may represent a possible pharmaceutical target for PTS prevention and treatment.
Epilepsy is increasingly considered as the dysfunction of a pathologic neuronal network (epileptic network) rather than a single focal source. We aimed to assess the interactions between the regions that comprise the epileptic network and to investigate their dependence on the occurrence of interictal epileptiform discharges (IEDs).Methods
We analyzed resting state simultaneous electroencephalography–functional magnetic resonance imaging (EEG-fMRI) recordings in 10 patients with drug-resistant focal epilepsy with multifocal IED-related blood oxygen level–dependent (BOLD) responses and a maximum t-value in the IED field. We computed functional connectivity (FC) maps of the epileptic network using two types of seed: (1) a 10-mm diameter sphere centered in the global maximum of IED-related BOLD map, and (2) the independent component with highest correlation to the IED-related BOLD map, named epileptic component. For both approaches, we compared FC maps before and after regressing out the effect of IEDs in terms of maximum and mean t-values and percentage of map overlap.Results
Maximum and mean FC maps t-values were significantly lower after regressing out IEDs at the group level (p < 0.01). Overlap extent was 85% ± 12% and 87% ± 12% when the seed was the 10-mm diameter sphere and the epileptic component, respectively.Significance
Regions involved in a specific epileptic network show coherent BOLD fluctuations independent of scalp EEG IEDs. FC topography and strength is largely preserved by removing the IED effect. This could represent a signature of a sustained pathologic network with contribution from epileptic activity invisible to the scalp EEG.