Differential Effect of Neuropeptides on Excitatory Synaptic Transmission in Human Epileptic Hippocampus.

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Abstract

Development of novel disease-modifying treatment strategies for neurological disorders, which at present have no cure, represents a major challenge for today's neurology. Translation of findings from animal models to humans represents an unresolved gap in most of the preclinical studies. Gene therapy is an evolving innovative approach that may prove useful for clinical applications. In animal models of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), gene therapy treatments based on viral vectors encoding NPY or galanin have been shown to effectively suppress seizures. However, how this translates to human TLE remains unknown. A unique possibility to validate these animal studies is provided by a surgical therapeutic approach, whereby resected epileptic tissue from temporal lobes of pharmacoresistant patients are available for neurophysiological studies in vitro. To test whether NPY and galanin have antiepileptic actions in human epileptic tissue as well, we applied these neuropeptides directly to human hippocampal slices in vitro. NPY strongly decreased stimulation-induced EPSPs in dentate gyrus and CA1 (up to 30 and 55%, respectively) via Y2 receptors, while galanin had no significant effect. Receptor autoradiographic binding revealed the presence of both NPY and galanin receptors, while functional receptor binding was only detected for NPY, suggesting that galanin receptor signaling may be impaired. These results underline the importance of validating findings from animal studies in human brain tissue, and advocate for NPY as a more appropriate candidate than galanin for future gene therapy trials in pharmacoresistant TLE patients.

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  • Neurosciences
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9622-9631
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume35
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

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