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Long-term chemogenetic suppression of seizures in a multifocal rat model of temporal lobe epilepsy

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

OBJECTIVE: One third of epilepsy patients do not become seizure-free using conventional medication. Therefore, there is a need for alternative treatments. Preclinical research using designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADDs) has demonstrated initial success in suppressing epileptic activity. Here, we evaluated whether long-term chemogenetic seizure suppression could be obtained in the intraperitoneal kainic acid rat model of temporal lobe epilepsy, when DREADDs were selectively expressed in excitatory hippocampal neurons. METHODS: Epileptic male Sprague Dawley rats received unilateral hippocampal injections of adeno-associated viral vector encoding the inhibitory DREADD hM4D(Gi), preceded by a cell-specific promotor targeting excitatory neurons. The effect of clozapine-mediated DREADD activation on dentate gyrus evoked potentials and spontaneous electrographic seizures was evaluated. Animals were systemically treated with single (.1 mg/kg/24 h) or repeated (.1 mg/kg/6 h) injections of clozapine. In addition, long-term continuous release of clozapine and olanzapine (2.8 mg/kg/7 days) using implantable minipumps was evaluated. All treatments were administered during the chronic epileptic phase and between 1.5 and 13.5 months after viral transduction. RESULTS: In the DREADD group, dentate gyrus evoked potentials were inhibited after clozapine treatment. Only in DREADD-expressing animals, clozapine reduced seizure frequency during the first 6 h postinjection. When administered repeatedly, seizures were suppressed during the entire day. Long-term treatment with clozapine and olanzapine both resulted in significant seizure-suppressing effects for multiple days. Histological analysis revealed DREADD expression in both hippocampi and some cortical regions. However, lesions were also detected at the site of vector injection. SIGNIFICANCE: This study shows that inhibition of the hippocampus using chemogenetics results in potent seizure-suppressing effects in the intraperitoneal kainic acid rat model, even 1 year after viral transduction. Despite a need for further optimization, chemogenetic neuromodulation represents a promising treatment prospect for temporal lobe epilepsy.
Tijdschrift: Epilepsia
ISSN: 0013-9580
Issue: 3
Volume: 62
Pagina's: 659 - 670
Aantal pagina's: 12
Jaar van publicatie:2021