Neural stem cells and epilepsy: functional roles and disease-in-a-dish models

Cell Tissue Res. 2018 Jan;371(1):47-54. doi: 10.1007/s00441-017-2675-z. Epub 2017 Aug 22.


Epilepsy is a disorder of the central nervous system characterized by spontaneous recurrent seizures. Although current therapies exist to control the number and severity of clinical seizures, there are no pharmacological cures or disease-modifying treatments available. Use of transgenic mouse models has allowed an understanding of neural stem cells in their relation to epileptogenesis in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. Further, with the significant discovery of factors necessary to reprogram adult somatic cell types into pluripotent stem cells, it has become possible to study monogenic epilepsy-in-a-dish using patient-derived neurons. This discovery along with some of the newest technological advances in recapitulating brain development in a dish has brought us closer than ever to a platform in which to study and understand the mechanisms of this disease. These technologies will be critical in understanding the mechanism of epileptogenesis and ultimately lead to improved therapies and precision medicine for patients with epilepsy.

Keywords: Adult neurogenesis; Epilepsy; Neural stem cells; Organoids; Seizure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / drug therapy
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / genetics
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / pathology*
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / physiopathology*
  • Gene Editing
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Mutation
  • Neural Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Neurogenesis*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Organoids / metabolism