Altered a-type potassium channel function in the nucleus tractus solitarii in acquired temporal lobe epilepsy

Isabel D. Derera, Katalin Cs Smith, Bret N. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is among the leading causes of death in people with epilepsy. Individuals with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) have a high risk for SUDEP because the seizures are often medically intractable. Neurons in the nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS) have been implicated in mouse models of SUDEP and play a critical role in modulating cardiorespiratory and autonomic output. Increased neuronal excitability of inhibitory, GABAergic neurons in the NTS develops during epileptogenesis, and NTS dysfunction has been implicated in mouse models of SUDEP. In this study we used the pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus model of TLE (i.e., pilo-SE mice) to investigate the A-type voltage-gated K + channel as a potential contributor to increased excitability in GABAergic NTS neurons during epileptogenesis. Compared with age-matched control mice, pilo-SE mice displayed an increase in spontaneous action potential frequency and half-width 9–12 wk after treatment. Activity of GABAergic NTS neurons from pilo-SE mice showed less sensitivity to 4-aminopyridine. Correspondingly, reduced A-type K + current amplitude was detected in these neurons, with no change in activation or inactivation kinetics. No changes were observed in K v 4.1, K v 4.2, K v 4.3, KChIP1, KChIP3, or KChIP4 mRNA expression. These changes contribute to the increased excitability in GABAergic NTS neurons that develops in TLE and may provide insight into potential mechanisms contributing to the increased risk for cardiorespiratory collapse and SUDEP in this model. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is a leading cause of death in epilepsy, and dysfunction in central autonomic neurons may play a role. In a mouse model of acquired epilepsy, GABAergic neurons in the nucleus tractus solitarii developed a reduced amplitude of the A-type current, which contributes to the increased excitability seen in these neurons during epileptogenesis. Neuronal excitability changes in inhibitory central vagal circuitry may increase the risk for cardiorespiratory collapse and SUDEP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-187
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neurophysiology
Volume121
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 the American Physiological Society.

Keywords

  • A-type current
  • GABA
  • Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy
  • Temporal lobe epilepsy
  • Vagus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Physiology

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