TRIF contributes to epileptogenesis in temporal lobe epilepsy during TLR4 activation

Brain Behav Immun. 2018 Jan;67:65-76. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2017.07.157. Epub 2017 Sep 1.


Increasing evidence indicates that inflammatory processes play a crucial role in the etiopathology of epilepsy and seizure disorders. The Toll/IL-1R domain-containing adapter-inducing IFN-β (TRIF) activated several transcriptions leading to the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the central nervous system, which suggests a potential role for TRIF in the epileptogenesis of epilepsy. In this study, we investigated the roles of TRIF in human and mice epileptogenic tissues. Western blot and immunohistochemistry assays showed that the expression of TRIF was significantly upregulated in neurons and glial cells in both human epileptic tissues and mouse models, and positively correlated with seizure frequency. TRIF expression positively correlated with high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) expression. In TRIF-deficient mice, electroencephalograms displayed a significant decrease in seizure frequency and duration time, while KA induced seizures compared with wild-type (WT) mice. The number and duration time of spontaneous seizures were also decreased in the chronic KA-induced TRIF-deficient mouse models. In TLR4-deficient hippocampal neurons and mouse models, TRIF expression was lower compared with WT mice during HMGB1 and KA stimulation. Meanwhile, in KA-induced TRIF-deficient mouse models, microglia activation was significantly suppressed; pro-inflammatory factors including IL-1β, TNF-α, iNOS, HMGB1 and IFN-β were reduced; and the survival of the neurons in the hippocampus increased compared with WT mice. Our findings suggested that TRIF may be involved in the epileptogenesis of temporal lobe epilepsy, which would make it a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of epilepsy.

Keywords: Epileptogenesis; Neuroinflammation; TRIF; Temporal lobe epilepsy; Toll-like receptors.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Vesicular Transport / genetics
  • Adaptor Proteins, Vesicular Transport / metabolism*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Child
  • Encephalitis / metabolism
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / metabolism*
  • Female
  • HMGB1 Protein / metabolism
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Microglia / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Pyramidal Cells / metabolism
  • Temporal Lobe / metabolism
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4 / genetics
  • Young Adult


  • Adaptor Proteins, Vesicular Transport
  • HMGB1 Protein
  • HMGB1 protein, mouse
  • TICAM-1 protein, mouse
  • TICAM1 protein, human
  • Tlr4 protein, mouse
  • Toll-Like Receptor 4