October 7, 2020

Review Paper: Inflammatory and Immune Mechanisms Underlying Epileptogenesis and Epilepsy: From Pathogenesis to Treatment Target

Abstract, originally published in Seizure

Epilepsy is a brain disease associated with epileptic seizures as well as with neurobehavioral outcomes of this condition. In the last century, inflammation emerged as a crucial factor in epilepsy etiology. Various brain insults through activation of neuronal and non-neuronal brain cells initiate a series of inflammatory events.

Growing observations strongly suggest that abnormal activation of critical inflammatory processes contributes to epileptogenesis, a gradual process by which a normal brain transforms into the epileptic brain. Increased knowledge of inflammatory pathways in epileptogenesis has unveiled mechanistic targets for novel antiepileptic therapies. Molecules specifically targeting the pivotal inflammatory pathways may serve as promising candidates to halt the development of epilepsy.

The present paper reviews the pieces of evidence conceptually supporting the potential role of inflammatory mechanisms and the relevant blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption in epileptogenesis. Also, it discusses the mechanisms underlying inflammation-induced neuronal-glial network impairment and highlights innovative neuroregulatory actions of typical inflammatory molecules. Finally, it presents a brief analysis of observations supporting the therapeutic role of inflammation-targeting tiny molecules in epileptic seizures.