Calpain activation and neuronal death during early epileptogenesis.


Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neurology and Translational Epilepsy Research Program, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO 80045, USA. Electronic address: [Email]


Epilepsy is a brain disorder characterized by a predisposition to suffer epileptic seizures. Acquired epilepsy might be the result of brain insults like head trauma, stroke, brain infection, or status epilepticus (SE) when one of these triggering injuries starts a transformative process known as epileptogenesis. There is some data to suggest that, during epileptogenesis, seizures themselves damage the brain but there is no conclusive evidence to demonstrate that spontaneous recurrent seizures themselves injure the brain. Our recent evidence indicates that calpain overactivation might be relevant for epileptogenesis. Here, we investigated if spontaneous recurrent seizures that occur during an early period of epileptogenesis show any correlation with the levels of calpain activation and/or expression. In addition, we also investigated a possible association between the occurrence of spontaneous seizures and increased levels of cell death, gliosis and inflammation (typical markers associated with epileptogenesis). We found that the number of spontaneous seizures detected prior to sample collection was correlated with altered calpain activity and expression. Moreover, the levels of hippocampal neurodegeneration were also correlated with seizure occurrence. Our findings suggest that, at least during early epileptogenesis, there is a correlation between seizure occurrence, calpain activity and neurodegeneration. Thus, this study opens the possibility that aberrant calpain reactivation by spontaneous seizures might contribute to the manifestation of future spontaneous seizures.


Calpain,Cell death,Epileptogenesis,Gliosis,Inflammation,Spontaneous seizures,

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