Neonatal Seizure Models to Study Epileptogenesis

Front Pharmacol. 2018 Apr 18:9:385. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2018.00385. eCollection 2018.


Current therapeutic strategies for epilepsy include anti-epileptic drugs and surgical treatments that are mainly focused on the suppression of existing seizures rather than the occurrence of the first spontaneous seizure. These symptomatic treatments help a certain proportion of patients, but these strategies are not intended to clarify the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the primary process of epilepsy development, i.e., epileptogenesis. Epileptogenic changes include reorganization of neural and glial circuits, resulting in the formation of an epileptogenic focus. To achieve the goal of developing "anti-epileptogenic" drugs, we need to clarify the step-by-step mechanisms underlying epileptogenesis for patients whose seizures are not controllable with existing "anti-epileptic" drugs. Epileptogenesis has been studied using animal models of neonatal seizures because such models are useful for studying the latent period before the occurrence of spontaneous seizures and the lowering of the seizure threshold. Further, neonatal seizure models are generally easy to handle and can be applied for in vitro studies because cells in the neonatal brain are suitable for culture. Here, we review two animal models of neonatal seizures for studying epileptogenesis and discuss their features, specifically focusing on hypoxia-ischemia (HI)-induced seizures and febrile seizures (FSs). Studying these models will contribute to identifying the potential therapeutic targets and biomarkers of epileptogenesis.

Keywords: bumetanide; epilepsy; febrile seizures; hypoxia-ischemia; neonatal seizures.

Publication types

  • Review