Rapid changes in expression of class I and IV histone deacetylases during epileptogenesis in mouse models of temporal lobe epilepsy

Exp Neurol. 2015 Nov:273:92-104. doi: 10.1016/j.expneurol.2015.07.026. Epub 2015 Jul 31.


A prominent role of epigenetic mechanisms in manifestation of epilepsy has been proposed. Thus altered histone H3 and H4 acetylation has been demonstrated in experimental models of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). We now investigated changes in the expression of the class I and class IV histone deacetylases (HDAC) in two complementary mouse TLE models. Unilateral intrahippocampal injection of kainic acid (KA) induced a status epilepticus lasting 6 to 24h, development of spontaneous limbic seizures (2 to 3 days after KA injection) and chronic epilepsy, as revealed by telemetric recordings of the EEGs. Mice were killed at different intervals after KA injection and expression of HDAC mRNAs was investigated by in situ hybridization. We observed marked decreases in the expression of HDACs 1, 2 and 11 (by up to 75%) in the granule cell and pyramidal cell layers of the hippocampus during the acute status epilepticus (2 to 6h after KA injection). This was followed by increased expression of all class I HDAC mRNAs in all principal cell layers of the hippocampus after 12 to 48 h. In the chronic phase, 14 and 28 days after KA, only modest increases in the expression of HDAC1 mRNA were observed in granule and pyramidal cells. Immunohistochemistry using an antibody detecting HDAC2 revealed results consistent with the mRNA data and indicates also expression in glial cells on the injection side. Similar changes as seen in the KA model were observed after a pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus except that decreases in HDACs 2, 3 and 8 were also seen at the chronic 28 day interval. The prominent decreases in HDAC expression during status epilepticus are consistent with the previously demonstrated increased expression of numerous proteins and with the augmented acetylation of histone H4. It is suggested that respective putative gene products could facilitate proconvulsive as well as anticonvulsive mechanisms. The increased expression of all class I HDACs during the "silent phase", on the other hand, may be related to decreased histone acetylation, which could cause a decrease in expression of certain proteins, a mechanism that could also promote epileptogenesis. Thus, addressing HDAC expression may have a therapeutic potential in interfering with a status epilepticus and with the manifestation of TLE.

Keywords: Epigenetic; Epilepsy; Epileptogenesis; HDAC; Histone acetylation; Intrahippocampal kainic acid; Status epilepticus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Convulsants / toxicity
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Electroencephalography
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / chemically induced
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / enzymology*
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Agonists / toxicity
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Histone Deacetylase 1 / genetics
  • Histone Deacetylase 1 / metabolism*
  • Histone Deacetylases / genetics
  • Histone Deacetylases / metabolism*
  • Kainic Acid / toxicity
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Pilocarpine / toxicity
  • Telemetry
  • Time Factors
  • Video Recording


  • Convulsants
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Agonists
  • Pilocarpine
  • Hdac5 protein, mouse
  • Histone Deacetylase 1
  • Histone Deacetylases
  • Kainic Acid