Neurobiological Correlates of Alpha-Tocopherol Antiepileptogenic Effects and MicroRNA Expression Modulation in a Rat Model of Kainate-Induced Seizures.
Mol Neurobiol. 2018 Feb 22. Epub 2018 Feb 22. PMID: 29468563
Seizure-triggered maladaptive neural plasticity and neuroinflammation occur during the latent period as a key underlying event in epilepsy chronicization. Previously, we showed thatα-tocopherol (α-T) reduces hippocampal neuroglial activation and neurodegeneration in the rat model of kainic acid (KA)-induced status epilepticus (SE). These findings allowed us to postulate an antiepileptogenic potential for α-T in hippocampal excitotoxicity, in line with clinical evidence showing that α-T improves seizure control in drug-resistant patients. To explore neurobiological correlates of the α-T antiepileptogenic role, rats were injected with such vitamin during the latent period starting right after KA-induced SE, and the effects on circuitry excitability, neuroinflammation,neuronal death, and microRNA (miRNA) expression were investigated in the hippocampus. Results show that in α-T-treated epileptic rats, (1) the number of population spikes elicited by pyramidal neurons, as well as the latency to the onset of epileptiform-like network activity recover to control levels; (2) neuronal death is almost prevented; (3) down-regulation of claudin, a blood-brain barrier protein, is fully reversed; (4) neuroinflammation processes are quenched (as indicated by the decrease of TNF-α, IL-1β, GFAP, IBA-1, and increase of IL-6); (5) miR-146a, miR-124, and miR-126 expression is coherently modulated in hippocampus and serum by α-T. These findings support the potential of a timely intervention with α-T in clinical management of SE to reduce epileptogenesis, thus preventing chronic epilepsy development. In addition, we suggest that the analysis of miRNA levels in serum could provide clinicians with a tool to evaluate disease evolution and the efficacy of α-T therapy in SE.