September 23, 2021

Blocking Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products (RAGE) or Toll-Like Receptor 4 (TLR4) Prevents Post-Traumatic Epileptogenesis in Mice

Featuring the work of CURE Epilepsy grantee Dr. Xiaoming Jin

Abstract, originally published in Epilepsia

Objective: Effective treatment for the prevention of posttraumatic epilepsy is still not available. Here, we sought to determine whether blocking receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) or toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) signaling pathways would prevent posttraumatic epileptogenesis.

Methods: In a mouse undercut model of posttraumatic epilepsy, daily injections of saline, RAGE monoclonal antibody (mAb), or TAK242, a TLR4 inhibitor, were made for 1 week. Their effects on seizure susceptibility and spontaneous epileptic seizures were evaluated with a pentylenetetrazol (PTZ) test in 2 weeks and with continuous video and wireless electroencephalography (EEG) monitoring between 2 and 6 weeks after injury, respectively. Seizure susceptibility after undercut in RAGE knockout mice was also evaluated with the PTZ test. The lesioned cortex was analyzed with immunohistology.

Results: Undercut animals treated with RAGE mAb or TAK242 showed significantly higher seizure threshold than saline-treated undercut mice. Consistently, undercut injury in RAGE knockout mice did not cause a reduction in seizure threshold in the PTZ test. EEG and video recordings revealed a significant decrease in the cumulative spontaneous seizure events in the RAGE mAb- or TAK242-treated group (p < 0.001, when the RAGE mAb or TAK242 group is compared with the saline group). The lesioned cortical tissues of RAGE mAb- or TAK242-treated undercut group showed higher neuronal densities of Nissl staining and higher densities of glutamic acid decarboxylase 67-immunoreactive interneurons than the saline-treated undercut group. Immunostaining to GFAP and Iba-1 revealed lower densities of astrocytes and microglia in the cortex of the treatment groups, suggesting reduced glia activation.

Significance: RAGE and TLR4 signaling are critically involved in posttraumatic epileptogenesis. Blocking these pathways early after traumatic brain injury is a promising strategy for preventing posttraumatic epilepsy.

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