Epilepsy is often associated with altered expression or function of ion channels. One example of such a channelopathy is the reduction of A-type potassium currents in the hippocampal CA1 region. The underlying mechanisms of reduced A-type channel function in epilepsy are unclear. Here, we show that inhibiting a single microRNA, miR-324-5p, which targets the pore-forming A-type potassium channel subunit Kv4.2, selectively increased A-type potassium currents in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons in mice. Resting membrane potential, input resistance and other potassium currents were not altered. In a mouse model of acquired chronic epilepsy, inhibition of miR-324-5p reduced the frequency of spontaneous seizures and interictal epileptiform spikes supporting the physiological relevance of miR-324-5p-mediated control of A-type currents in regulating neuronal excitability. Mechanistic analyses demonstrated that microRNA-induced silencing of Kv4.2 mRNA is increased in epileptic mice leading to reduced Kv4.2 protein levels, which is mitigated by miR-324-5p inhibition. By contrast, other targets of miR-324-5p were unchanged. These results suggest a selective miR-324-5p-dependent mechanism in epilepsy regulating potassium channel function, hyperexcitability and seizures.
Keywords: A-type potassium currents; Antagomir; Epilepsy; Epileptiform spikes; Kv4.2; RISC; RNA-induced silencing complex; Seizures; miR-324-5p; microRNA.
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