Temporal lobe epilepsy is common and difficult to treat. Our long-range research goal is to help reveal mechanisms of temporal lobe epilepsy and develop anti-epileptogenic strategies. During the last funding period we discovered rapamycin suppresses granule cell axon (mossy fiber) sprouting and found that despite substantial reductions, spontaneous seizure frequency was unchanged in a mouse model of temporal lobe epilepsy. These findings raise doubts about the role of mossy fiber sprouting in epileptogenesis. However, scattered clues in the literature and preliminary findings suggest another recurrent, excitatory circuit in the dentate gyrus developed despite suppression of mossy fiber sprouting. The goal of the next funding period is to test the hypothesis that in a rat model of temporal lobe epilepsy surviving mossy cells function as aberrant network hubs, establish an over-developed positive-feedback circuit within the dentate gyrus, and contribute to the generation of spontaneous seizures. We propose 3 specific aims.
Aim 1 is to test the hypothesis that surviving mossy cells enlarge, elongate dendritic processes, and receive more excitatory synaptic input in epileptic pilocarpine-treated rats. Hippocampal slices, whole-cell patch recording, and biocytin labeling will be used.
Aim 2 is to test the hypothesis that surviving mossy cells sprout axon collaterals and form new synapses with granule cells in epileptic pilocarpine-treated rats. In vivo intracellular biocytin-labeling and electron microscopy will be used.
Aim 3 is to perform 3 experiments to test the hypothesis that surviving mossy cells contribute to seizure generation. Unit recordings will be obtained from mossy cells in epileptic pilocarpine- treated rats as they experience spontaneous seizures. Seizure frequency and numbers of surviving mossy cells will be measured to determine whether there is a correlation. And, we will test whether epilepsy-related changes in mossy cell circuitry are resistant to rapamycin treatment. Achieving these aims will clarify the role of surviving hilar mossy cells in temporal lobe epilepsy. If mossy cells do play an epileptogenic role, then they may offer new therapeutic targets to dampen excitability and provide better seizure control for patients.

Public Health Relevance

Many patients with epilepsy have uncontrolled spontaneous seizures that initiate in or near hippocampal dentate gyrus. Seizures might be caused by aberrant positive-feedback circuits that develop after epilepsy- causing injuries. This project will test whether a specific abnormal circuit develops in the dentate gyrus and contributes to the generation of spontaneous seizures.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01NS040276-14
Application #
8666069
Study Section
Clinical Neuroplasticity and Neurotransmitters Study Section (CNNT)
Program Officer
Whittemore, Vicky R
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
14
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
Stanford University
Department
Veterinary Sciences
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
City
Stanford
State
CA
Country
United States
Zip Code
94304
Yamawaki, Ruth; Thind, Khushdev; Buckmaster, Paul S (2015) Blockade of excitatory synaptogenesis with proximal dendrites of dentate granule cells following rapamycin treatment in a mouse model of temporal lobe epilepsy. J Comp Neurol 523:281-97
Zhang, Wei; Thamattoor, Ajoy K; LeRoy, Christopher et al. (2015) Surviving mossy cells enlarge and receive more excitatory synaptic input in a mouse model of temporal lobe epilepsy. Hippocampus 25:594-604
Scharfman, Helen E; Buckmaster, Paul S (2014) Preface. Adv Exp Med Biol 813:xv-xviii
Buckmaster, Paul S (2014) Does mossy fiber sprouting give rise to the epileptic state? Adv Exp Med Biol 813:161-8
Toyoda, Izumi; Bower, Mark R; Leyva, Fernando et al. (2013) Early activation of ventral hippocampus and subiculum during spontaneous seizures in a rat model of temporal lobe epilepsy. J Neurosci 33:11100-15
Heng, Kathleen; Haney, Megan M; Buckmaster, Paul S (2013) High-dose rapamycin blocks mossy fiber sprouting but not seizures in a mouse model of temporal lobe epilepsy. Epilepsia 54:1535-41
Colas, D; Chuluun, B; Warrier, D et al. (2013) Short-term treatment with the GABAA receptor antagonist pentylenetetrazole produces a sustained pro-cognitive benefit in a mouse model of Down's syndrome. Br J Pharmacol 169:963-73
Galanopoulou, Aristea S; Buckmaster, Paul S; Staley, Kevin J et al. (2012) Identification of new epilepsy treatments: issues in preclinical methodology. Epilepsia 53:571-82
Zhang, Wei; Huguenard, John R; Buckmaster, Paul S (2012) Increased excitatory synaptic input to granule cells from hilar and CA3 regions in a rat model of temporal lobe epilepsy. J Neurosci 32:1183-96
Buckmaster, Paul S; Haney, Megan M (2012) Factors affecting outcomes of pilocarpine treatment in a mouse model of temporal lobe epilepsy. Epilepsy Res 102:153-9

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