GPR40 modulates epileptic seizure and NMDA receptor function

Sci Adv. 2018 Oct 17;4(10):eaau2357. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aau2357. eCollection 2018 Oct.


Epilepsy is a common neurological disease, and approximately 30% of patients do not respond adequately to antiepileptic drug treatment. Recent studies suggest that G protein-coupled receptor 40 (GPR40) is expressed in the central nervous system and is involved in the regulation of neurological function. However, the impact of GPR40 on epileptic seizures remains unclear. In this study, we first reported that GPR40 expression was increased in epileptic brains. In the kainic acid-induced epilepsy model, GPR40 activation after status epilepticus alleviated epileptic activity, whereas GPR40 inhibition showed the opposite effect. In the pentylenetetrazole-induced kindling model, susceptibility to epilepsy was reduced with GPR40 activation and increased with GPR40 inhibition. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings demonstrated that GPR40 affected N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-mediated synaptic transmission. Moreover, GPR40 regulated NR2A and NR2B expression on the surface of neurons. In addition, endocytosis of NMDA receptors and binding of GPR40 with NR2A and NR2B can be regulated by GPR40. Together, our findings indicate that GPR40 modulates epileptic seizures, providing a novel antiepileptic target.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Child
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Hippocampus / pathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / genetics
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / genetics
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate / metabolism*
  • Seizures / genetics
  • Seizures / metabolism
  • Seizures / pathology*
  • Synaptic Transmission
  • Young Adult


  • FFAR1 protein, human
  • Ffar1 protein, mouse
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate