Molecular analysis of acute and chronic reactive astrocytes in the pilocarpine model of temporal lobe epilepsy

Neurobiol Dis. 2016 Jul;91:315-25. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2016.03.024. Epub 2016 Apr 7.


Astroglia, the most abundant glial cells in the mammalian central nervous system (CNS), are considered an emerging key player in seizure induction and progression. Although astrocytes undergo reactive gliosis in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) with dramatic morphological and molecular changes, specific astrocyte targets/molecular pathways that contribute to the induction and progression of seizure remain largely unknown. By combining translating ribosomal affinity purification (TRAP) with the pilocarpine model of TLE in BAC aldh1l1 TRAP mice, we profiled translating mRNAs from hippocampal or cortical astrocytes at different phases (3days, 30days, and 60days post-pilocarpine injections) of pilocarpine-induced epilepsy models. Our results found that hippocampal (but not cortical) astrocytes undergo early and unique molecular changes at 3days post-pilocarpine injections. These changes indicate a potentially primary pathogenic role of hippocampal astrocytes in seizure induction and progression and provide new insights about the involvement of specific astrocytic pathways/targets in epilepsy. In particular, we validated expression changes of ocrl and aeg1 in pilocarpine models. Follow-up studies on these genes may reveal new roles of hippocampal astrocytes in TLE.

Keywords: Astroglia; Epilepsy; Gene profiling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / metabolism*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / metabolism*
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / pathology
  • Hippocampus / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Temporal Lobe / metabolism