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- ÖgeAstrocytes as a target for therapeutic strategies in epilepsy: current insights(Frontiers, 2023-07-31) Çarçak, Nihan; Onat, Filiz; Sitnikova, EvgeniaAstrocytes are specialized non-neuronal glial cells of the central nervous system, contributing to neuronal excitability and synaptic transmission (gliotransmission). Astrocytes play a key roles in epileptogenesis and seizure generation. Epilepsy, as a chronic disorder characterized by neuronal hyperexcitation and hypersynchronization, is accompanied by substantial disturbances of glial cells and impairment of astrocytic functions and neuronal signaling. Anti-seizure drugs that provide symptomatic control of seizures primarily target neural activity. In epileptic patients with inadequate control of seizures with available anti-seizure drugs, novel therapeutic candidates are needed. These candidates should treat epilepsy with anti-epileptogenic and disease-modifying effects. Evidence from human and animal studies shows that astrocytes have value for developing new anti-seizure and anti-epileptogenic drugs. In this review, we present the key functions of astrocytes contributing to neuronal hyperexcitability and synaptic activity following an etiology-based approach. We analyze the role of astrocytes in both development (epileptogenesis) and generation of seizures (ictogenesis). Several promising new strategies that attempted to modify astroglial functions for treating epilepsy are being developed: (1) selective targeting of glia-related molecular mechanisms of glutamate transport; (2) modulation of tonic GABA release from astrocytes; (3) gliotransmission; (4) targeting the astrocytic Kir4.1- BDNF system; (5) astrocytic Na+/K+/ATPase activity; (6) targeting DNA hypo- or hypermethylation of candidate genes in astrocytes; (7) targeting astrocytic gap junction regulators; (8) targeting astrocytic adenosine kinase (the major adenosinemetabolizing enzyme); and (9) targeting microglia-astrocyte communication and inflammatory pathways. Novel disease-modifying therapeutic strategies have now been developed, such as astroglia-targeted gene therapy with a broad spectrum of genetic constructs to target astroglial cells.
- ÖgeInvolvement of orexin type-2 receptors in genetic absence epilepsy rats(Frontiers, 2023-11-30) Toplu, Aylin; Mutlu, Nursima; Erdeve, Elif Tuğçe; Sarıyıldız, Özge; Çelik, Musa; Arslan, Devrim Öz; Akman, Özlem; Molnar, Zoltar; Çarçak, Nihan; Onat, FilizIntroduction: Orexin is a neuropeptide neurotransmitter that regulates the sleep/ wake cycle produced by the lateral hypothalamus neurons. Recent studies have shown the involvement of orexin system in epilepsy. Limited data is available about the possible role of orexins in the pathophysiology of absence seizures. This study aims to understand the role of orexinergic signaling through the orexin-type 2 receptor (OX2R) in the pathophysiology of absence epilepsy. The pharmacological effect of a selective OX2R agonist, YNT-185 on spike-andwave- discharges (SWDs) and the OX2R receptor protein levels in the cortex and thalamus in adult GAERS were investigated. Methods: The effect of intracerebroventricular (ICV) (100, 300, and 600 nmol/10 μL), intrathalamic (30 and 40 nmol/500 nL), and intracortical (40 nmol/500 nL) microinjections of YNT-185 on the duration and number of spontaneous SWDs were evaluated in adult GAERS. The percentage of slowwave sleep (SWS) and spectral characteristics of background EEG were analyzed after the ICV application of 600 nmol YNT-185. The level of OX2R expression in the somatosensory cortex and projecting thalamic nuclei of adult GAERS were examined by Western blot and compared with the non-epileptic Wistar rats. Results: We showed that ICV administration of YNT-185 suppressed the cumulative duration of SWDs in GAERS compared to the saline-administered control group (p < 0.05). However, intrathalamic and intracortical microinjections of YNT-185 did not show a significant effect on SWDs. ICV microinjections of YNT-185 affect sleep states by increasing the percentage of SWS and showed a significant treatment effect on the 1–4 Hz delta frequency band power during the 1–2 h post-injection period where YNT-185 significantly decreased the SWDs. OXR2 protein levels were significantly reduced in the cortex and thalamus of GAERS when compared to Wistar rats. Conclusion: This study investigated the efficacy of YNT-185 for the first time on absence epilepsy in GAERS and revealed a suppressive effect of OX2R agonist on SWDs as evidenced by the significantly reduced expression of OX2R in the cortex and thalamus. YNT-185 effect on SWDs could be attributed to its regulation of wake/sleep states. The results constitute a step toward understanding the effectiveness of orexin neuropeptides on absence seizures in GAERS and might be targeted by therapeutic intervention for absence epilepsy.
- ÖgeDexmedetomidine, an alpha 2A receptor agonist, triggers seizures unilaterally in GAERS during the pre-epileptic phase: does the onset of spike-and-wave discharges occur in a focal manner?(Frontiers, 2023-12-11) Yavuz, Melis; İyiköşker, Pelin; Mutlu, Nursima; Kılıçparlar, Serra; Şalcı, Öykü Hazal; Dolu, Gökçen; Kaymakçılar, Elif Nur; Akkol, Serdar; Onat, FilizIntroduction: The genetic absence epilepsy rat from Strasbourg (GAERS) is a rat model for infantile absence epilepsy with spike-and-wave discharges (SWDs). This study aimed to investigate the potential of alpha 2A agonism to induce seizures during the pre-epileptic period in GAERS rats. Methods: Stereotaxic surgery was performed on male pups and adult GAERS rats to implant recording electrodes in the frontoparietal cortices (right/left) under anesthesia (PN23–26). Following the recovery period, pup GAERS rats were subjected to electroencephalography (EEG) recordings for 2 h. Before the injections, pup epileptiform activity was examined using baseline EEG data. Dexmedetomidine was acutely administered at 0.6 mg/kg to pup GAERS rats 2–3 days after the surgery and once during the post-natal (PN) days 25–29. Epileptiform activities before injections triggered unilateral SWDs and induced sleep durations, and power spectral density was evaluated based on EEG traces. Results: The most prominent finding of this study is that unilateral SWD-like activities were induced in 47% of the animals with the intraperitoneal dexmedetomidine injection. The baseline EEGs of pup GAERS rats had no SWDs as expected since they are in the pre-epileptic period but showed low-amplitude non-rhythmic epileptiform activity. There was no dierence in the duration of epileptiform activities between the basal EEG groups and DEX-injected unilateral SWD-like-exhibiting and non-SWD-like activities groups; however, the sleep duration of the unilateral SWD-like-exhibiting group was shorter. Power spectrum density (PSD) results revealed that the 1.75-Hz power in the left hemisphere peaks significantly higher than in the right. Discussion: As anticipated, pup GAERS rats in the pre-epileptic stage showed no SWDs. Nevertheless, they exhibited sporadic epileptiform activities. Specifically, dexmedetomidine induced SWD-like activities solely within the left hemisphere. These observations imply that absence seizures might originate unilaterally in the left cortex due to a2AAR agonism. Additional research is necessary to explore the precise cortical focal point of this activity.