July 21, 2022

Febrile Seizures Lead to Prolonged Epileptiform Activity and Hyperoxia That When Blocked Prevents Learning Deficits

Abstract found on Wiley Online Library

Objective: In adult brain tissue oxygen levels typically remain in the normoxic zone but status epilepticus results in hyperoxia whereas brief self-terminating seizures lead to postictal hypoxia. The dynamic changes in oxygen levels and the underlying mechanisms are unknown in juveniles with febrile seizures.

Methods: Eight-day old female and male rat pups were implanted with an electrode and oxygen sensing optode in the hippocampus and then received once daily injections of lipopolysaccharide for 4?days to induce an immune response. Local partial pressure of oxygen (pO2) and local field potentials were recorded before, during and after a heat-induced febrile seizure. Separate groups of pups received injections of vehicle or drugs targeting cyclooxygenase (COX)-1, COX-2, L-type calcium channels (LTCCs), CB1 and transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 (TRPV1) receptors prior to febrile seizure induction to determine pO2 mechanisms. Following febrile seizures, a subset of pups were raised to young adulthood then tested for learning impairments using the NOR task.

Results: Febrile seizures resulted in predictable oxygen dynamics that were related to behavioral seizures and epileptiform activity. During a behavioral seizure pO2 rapidly increased, rapidly decreased, and then returned to near baseline. When the behavioral seizure terminated, oxygen levels climbed into the hyperoxic zone during a time of prolonged epileptiform activity. When epileptiform activity terminated oxygen levels slowly returned to baseline.

A COX-1 antagonist prevented hyperoxia whereas a COX-2 antagonist did not. An LTCC antagonist exacerbated hyperoxia. Boosting levels of an endocannabinoid also exacerbated hyperoxia whereas blocking CB1 receptors and TRPV1 receptors reduced hyperoxia. Inhibiting TRPV1 receptors during a febrile seizure prevented learning deficits in young adult female rats.

Significance: Brain oxygenation during and following a febrile seizure has a distinct pattern and multiple mechanisms. Brain oxygen dynamics may be an important consideration in the development of treatments for febrile seizures.