Publication date: Available online 12 August 2017
Author(s): Qinrui Li, Ying Han, Junbao Du, Hongfang Jin, Jing Zhang, Manman Niu, Jiong Qin
Current studies have indicated that apoptotic and autophagic signaling pathways are triggered by epileptic seizures, but the precise roles of these processes in epilepsy-induced neuronal loss remain unclear. Identifying a concrete molecular mechanism may help researchers develop relevant epilepsy therapies that are more effective than existing treatments. Autophagy is a type of conserved degradation that contributes to cellular homeostasis. The involved signaling pathways allow us to observe alterations in autophagy and apoptosis during epileptic seizures over time. This study investigated the time-dependent changes in autophagy, apoptosis and neuronal morphology in developing brain of epilepsy model rats. At 48h after epileptic seizure onset, the number of neurons in neocortex decreased, and the number of apoptotic cells in neocortex increased. The ratio of microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (LC3) II to LC3 I and Beclin-1 protein levels increased from 12h to 48h after epileptic seizure onset. P62 protein and Bcl-2 protein levels decreased from 24h to 48h after epileptic seizure onset. The changes in the levels of these autophagy and apoptosis markers indicate that autophagy starts before apoptosis in rats with epilepsy, demonstrating a potential role of autophagy in epilepsy-induced neuronal loss in developing brain.
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