Year of Publication

2013

Degree Name

Master of Science in Medical Sciences (MSMS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Medicine

Department

Anatomy and Neurobiology

First Advisor

Paul E.A. Glaser

Second Advisor

Greg A. Gerhardt

Abstract

Epileptogenesis is the complex process of the brain developing epileptic acitivity. Due to the role of glutamate and the hippocampus in synaptic plasticity a dysregulation in glutamate neurotransmission and hippocampal dysfunction are implicated in the process of epileptogenesis. However, the exact causal factors that promote epileptogenesis are unknown.

We study presynaptic proteins that regulate glutamate neurotransmission and their role in epileptogenesis. The presynaptic protein, tomosyn, is believed to be a negative regulator of glutamate neurotransmission; however, no one has studied the effects of this protein on glutamate transmission in vivo. Furthermore, evidence suggests that mice lacking tomosyn have a kindling phenotype. Thus, in vivo glutamate recordings in mice lacking tomosyn have the potential to elucidate the exact role of tomosyn in glutamate neurotransmission and its potential relationship to epileptogenesis.

Here we used biosensors to measure glutamate in the dentate gyrus (DG), CA3, and CA1 of the hippocampus in tomosyn wild-type (Tom+/+), heterozygous (Tom+/-), and knock out (Tom-/-) mice. We found that, in the DG, that glutamate release increases as tomosyn expression decreases across genotype. This suggests that tomosyn dysregulation in the DG leads to an increase in glutamate release, which may explain why these mice have an epileptogenic phenotype.

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