June 8, 2021

A Genomic Single-cell Map Explains Neuronal Death in Epilepsy

Article, published in Medical Xpress

A multidisciplinary team led by researchers from the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) identifies the genomic cellular map associated with hippocampal sclerosis, a major histopathological condition of temporal lobe epilepsy. The study, published in Cell Reports, identifies cell-type specific transcriptional signatures of hyper-excitability and neurodegeneration, providing grounds for improved diagnosis. While the presence of sclerosis is essential for identifying temporal lobe epilepsy (the most common form of drug-resistant epilepsy), it is also detected in some cases of dementia associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

In this work, the researchers have developed a transcriptional map that identifies the precise genetic code of all cell types specifically affected in the disease. “With these maps we seek to match different genes with specific biological elements. In the case of the brain, we aim linking expression of some specific genes with different cell types, such as neurons, astrocytes and microglia,” explains Liset Menéndez de la Prida, a scientist at the Cajal Institute of the CSIC, who lead the study together with José López-Atalaya, from the Institute of Neurosciences (CSIC-UMH) in Alicante.

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