Targeting Seizure-Induced Neurogenesis in a Clinically Relevant Time Period Leads to Transient But Not Persistent Seizure Reduction

J Neurosci. 2019 Aug 28;39(35):7019-7028. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0920-19.2019. Epub 2019 Jul 15.


Mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (mTLE), the most common form of medically refractory epilepsy in adults, is usually associated with hippocampal pathophysiology. Using rodent models of mTLE, many studies including work from our laboratory have shown that new neurons born around the onset of severe acute seizures known as status epilepticus (SE) are crucial for the process of epileptogenesis and targeting seizure-induced neurogenesis either genetically or pharmacologically can impact the frequency of chronic seizures. However, these studies are limited in their clinical relevance as none of them determines the potential of blocking new neurons generated after the epileptogenic insult to alleviate the development of chronic seizures. Therefore, using a pilocarpine-induced SE model of mTLE in mice of either sex, we show that >4 weeks of continuous and concurrent ablation of seizure-induced neurogenesis after SE can reduce the formation of spontaneous recurrent seizures by 65%. We also found that blocking post-SE neurogenesis does not lead to long-term seizure reduction as the effect was observed only transiently for 10 d with >4 weeks of continuous and concurrent ablation of seizure-induced neurogenesis. Thus, these findings provide evidence that seizure-induced neurogenesis when adequately reduced in a clinically relevant time period has the potential to transiently suppress recurrent seizures, but additional mechanisms need to be targeted to permanently prevent epilepsy development.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Consistent with morphological and electrophysiological studies suggesting aberrant adult-generated neurons contribute to epilepsy development, ablation of seizure-induced new neurons at the time of the initial insult reduces the frequency of recurrent seizures. In this study, we show that continuous targeting of post-insult new neurons in a therapeutically relevant time period reduces chronic seizures; however, this effect does not persist suggesting possible additional mechanisms.

Keywords: adult neurogenesis; epilepsy; hippocampus; mTLE; neural stem cell; newborn neurons.

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.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / chemically induced
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Neural Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Neurogenesis / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Pilocarpine
  • Seizures / chemically induced
  • Seizures / physiopathology*
  • Status Epilepticus / chemically induced
  • Status Epilepticus / physiopathology*


  • Pilocarpine