Changes in the Dentate Gyrus Gene Expression Profile Induced by Levetiracetam Treatment in Rats with Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

Int J Mol Sci. 2024 Jan 30;25(3):1690. doi: 10.3390/ijms25031690.


Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is one of the most common forms of focal epilepsy. Levetiracetam (LEV) is an antiepileptic drug whose mechanism of action at the genetic level has not been fully described. Therefore, the aim of the present work was to evaluate the relevant gene expression changes in the dentate gyrus (DG) of LEV-treated rats with pilocarpine-induced TLE. Whole-transcriptome microarrays were used to obtain the differential genetic profiles of control (CTRL), epileptic (EPI), and EPI rats treated for one week with LEV (EPI + LEV). Quantitative RT-qPCR was used to evaluate the RNA levels of the genes of interest. According to the results of the EPI vs. CTRL analysis, 685 genes were differentially expressed, 355 of which were underexpressed and 330 of which were overexpressed. According to the analysis of the EPI + LEV vs. EPI groups, 675 genes were differentially expressed, 477 of which were downregulated and 198 of which were upregulated. A total of 94 genes whose expression was altered by epilepsy and modified by LEV were identified. The RT-qPCR confirmed that LEV treatment reversed the increased expression of Hgf mRNA and decreased the expression of the Efcab1, Adam8, Slc24a1, and Serpinb1a genes in the DG. These results indicate that LEV could be involved in nonclassical mechanisms involved in Ca2+ homeostasis and the regulation of the mTOR pathway through Efcab1, Hgf, SLC24a1, Adam8, and Serpinb1a, contributing to reduced hyperexcitability in TLE patients.

Keywords: calcium regulation; epileptic rats; gene expression; levetiracetam; microarray analysis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticonvulsants / pharmacology
  • Anticonvulsants / therapeutic use
  • Dentate Gyrus
  • Epilepsy* / drug therapy
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe* / chemically induced
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe* / drug therapy
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe* / genetics
  • Humans
  • Levetiracetam / pharmacology
  • Levetiracetam / therapeutic use
  • Piracetam* / pharmacology
  • Piracetam* / therapeutic use
  • Rats
  • Transcriptome


  • Levetiracetam
  • Piracetam
  • Anticonvulsants