Introduction: In kindling, repeated electrical stimulation of certain brain areas causes progressive and permanent intensification of epileptiform activity resulting in generalized seizures. We focused on the role(s) of glutamate and a negative regulator of glutamate release, STXBP5/tomosyn-1, in kindling.
Methods: Stimulating electrodes were implanted in the amygdala and progression to two successive Racine stage 5 seizures was measured in wild-type and STXBP5/tomosyn-1−/− (Tom−/−) animals. Glutamate release measurements were performed in distinct brain regions using a glutamate-selective microelectrode array (MEA).
Results: Naïve Tom−/− mice had significant increases in KCl-evoked glutamate release compared to naïve wild type as measured by MEA of presynaptic release in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG). Kindling progression was considerably accelerated in Tom−/− mice, requiring fewer stimuli to reach a fully kindled state. Following full kindling, MEA measurements of both kindled Tom+/+ and Tom−/− mice showed significant increases in KCl-evoked and spontaneous glutamate release in the DG, indicating a correlation with the fully kindled state independent of genotype. Resting glutamate levels in all hippocampal subregions were significantly lower in the kindled Tom−/−mice, suggesting possible changes in basal control of glutamate circuitry in the kindled Tom−/−mice.
Conclusions: Our studies demonstrate that increased glutamate release in the hippocampal DG correlates with acceleration of the kindling process. Although STXBP5/tomosyn-1 loss increased evoked glutamate release in naïve animals contributing to their prokindling phenotype, the kindling process can override any attenuating effect of STXBP5/tomosyn-1. Loss of this “braking” effect of STXBP5/tomosyn-1 on kindling progression may set in motion an alternative but ultimately equally ineffective compensatory response, detected here as reduced basal glutamate release.
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This work is supported by a Merit Review Award from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Biomedical Laboratory Research & Development Service (to JTS), a grant from DARPA (N66001-09-C-2080; to GAG), and the NIH (HL56652; to SWW).
Batten, Seth R.; Matveeva, Elena A.; Whiteheart, Sidney W.; Vanaman, Thomas C.; Gerhardt, Greg A.; and Slevin, John T., "Linking Kindling to Increased Glutamate Release in the Dentate Gyrus of the Hippocampus Through the STXBP5/tomosyn-1 Gene" (2017). Psychology Faculty Publications. 141.