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Special Issue "Epilepsy: From Molecular Mechanisms to Targeted Therapies 2.0"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Pathology, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 29 February 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Biagini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 41100 Modena, Italy
Interests: animal ethics; animal welfare; epilepsy models; neuroprotection; stress management
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Jonathan Vinet
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biomedical, Universita degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy
Interests: epilepsy; neuroinflammation; microglia; myeloid cells; metalloproteinases; neuroprotection
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder affecting approximately 1% of the worldwide population. Despite the availability of antiepileptic drugs, one-third of patients are considered “drug-resistant” and fail to achieve seizure control. In the last decade, many breakthroughs have been made in identifying different mutated genes linked to severe epilepsy, which have brought new molecular players as potential therapeutic targets. Moreover, a link between epilepsy and inflammation, which has now become an important component of the disorder, has brought several inflammatory-linked mediators as further potential therapeutic targets. To this regard, a critical role has also been suggested for blood vessels, as an altered vascularization or an abnormal response of the vessel wall during the seizure may participate in the progression of damage in the epileptic tissue. Finally, all these players could significantly modulate the process of epileptogenesis, for which a regulatory pathway such as that depending on the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is intensively studied to dissect the mechanisms leading to the development of an epileptogenic environment.

This Special Issue, “Epilepsy: From Molecular Mechanisms to Targeted Therapies”, of the International Journal of Molecular Sciences will comprise a selection of research papers and reviews covering various aspects of molecular and cellular biology of epilepsy models. Studies on bioactive molecules and nutraceutical treatments modulating epileptogenesis will also be considered.

Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Biagini
Dr. Jonathan Vinet
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Blood-Brain Barrier
  • Epilepsy
  • Gene mutation
  • Microglia/Monocytes
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Neuroprotection

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
The Regional Specific Alterations in BBB Permeability are Relevant to the Differential Responses of 67-kDa LR Expression in Endothelial Cells and Astrocytes Following Status Epilepticus
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(23), 6025; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20236025 - 29 Nov 2019
Abstract
Status epilepticus (a prolonged seizure activity, SE) differently affects vasogenic edema formation and dystrophin-aquaporin 4 (AQP4) expressions between the rat hippocampus and the piriform cortex (PC). In the present study, we explored whether the 67-kDa laminin receptor (LR) expression was relevant to the [...] Read more.
Status epilepticus (a prolonged seizure activity, SE) differently affects vasogenic edema formation and dystrophin-aquaporin 4 (AQP4) expressions between the rat hippocampus and the piriform cortex (PC). In the present study, we explored whether the 67-kDa laminin receptor (LR) expression was relevant to the regional specific susceptibility of vasogenic edema at 3 days after SE. In spite of no difference in expression levels of 67-kDa LR, dystrophin, and AQP4 under physiological conditions, SE-induced serum extravasation was more severe in the PC than the hippocampus. Western blots demonstrated that SE reduced expression levels of 67-kDa LR, dystrophin, and AQP4 in the PC, but not in the hippocampus proper. Immunofluorescent studies revealed that SE increased 67-kDa LR expression in reactive CA1 astrocyte, but reduced it in the PC and the molecular layer of the dentate gyrus due to massive astroglial loss. Furthermore, SE decreased expressions of endothelial 67-kDa LR and SMI-71 (endothelial brain barrier antigen) in these regions. The 67-kDa LR neutralization evoked serum extravasation in these regions of normal animals without astroglial loss. Similar to SE, 67-kDa LR neutralization also reduced dystrophin-AQP4 expressions in the PC more than the total hippocampus. Furthermore, 67-kDa LR IgG infusion increased phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2), but not c-Jun N-terminal kinase, independent of phosphoprotein enriched in astrocytes of 15 kDa (PEA15) activity. Co-treatment of U0126 (an ERK1/2 inhibitor) alleviated vasogenic edema formation and the reduced dystrophin-AQP4 expressions induced by 67-kDa LR neutralization. The 67-kDa LR IgG infusion also increased the susceptibility to SE induction. Therefore, our findings suggested that the cellular specific alterations in 67-kDa LR expression might be involved in the severity of SE-induced vasogenic edema formation in regional specific manners, which might affect the susceptibility to SE induction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epilepsy: From Molecular Mechanisms to Targeted Therapies 2.0)
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Open AccessArticle
Neuroplasticity in Cholinergic Projections from the Basal Forebrain to the Basolateral Nucleus of the Amygdala in the Kainic Acid Model of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(22), 5688; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20225688 - 13 Nov 2019
Abstract
The amygdala is a cerebral region whose function is compromised in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Patients with TLE present cognitive and emotional dysfunctions, of which impairments in recognizing facial expressions have been clearly attributed to amygdala damage. However, damage to the amygdala has [...] Read more.
The amygdala is a cerebral region whose function is compromised in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Patients with TLE present cognitive and emotional dysfunctions, of which impairments in recognizing facial expressions have been clearly attributed to amygdala damage. However, damage to the amygdala has been scarcely addressed, with the majority of studies focusing on the hippocampus. The aim of this study was to evaluate epilepsy-related plasticity of cholinergic projections to the basolateral nucleus (BL) of the amygdala. Adult rats received kainic acid (KA) injections and developed status epilepticus. Weeks later, they showed spontaneous recurrent seizures documented by behavioral observations. Changes in cholinergic innervation of the BL were investigated by using an antibody against the vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT). In KA-treated rats, it was found that (i) the BL shrunk to 25% of its original size (p < 0.01 vs. controls, Student’s t-test), (ii) the density of vesicular acetylcholine transporter-immunoreactive (VAChT-IR) varicosities was unchanged, (iii) the volumes of VAChT-IR cell bodies projecting to the BL from the horizontal limb of the diagonal band of Broca, ventral pallidum, and subcommissural part of the substantia innominata were significantly increased (p < 0.05, Bonferroni correction). These results illustrate significant changes in the basal forebrain cholinergic cells projecting to the BL in the presence of spontaneous recurrent seizures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epilepsy: From Molecular Mechanisms to Targeted Therapies 2.0)
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Open AccessArticle
CDDO-Me Attenuates Vasogenic Edema and Astroglial Death by Regulating NF-κB p65 Phosphorylations and Nrf2 Expression Following Status Epilepticus
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(19), 4862; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20194862 - 30 Sep 2019
Abstract
2-Cyano-3,12-dioxo-oleana-1,9(11)-dien-28-oic acid methyl ester (CDDO-Me) is a triterpenoid analogue of oleanolic acid that has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective activities. In the present study, we evaluate the effects of CDDO-Me on serum extravasation and astroglial death in the rat piriform cortex (PC) induced by [...] Read more.
2-Cyano-3,12-dioxo-oleana-1,9(11)-dien-28-oic acid methyl ester (CDDO-Me) is a triterpenoid analogue of oleanolic acid that has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and neuroprotective activities. In the present study, we evaluate the effects of CDDO-Me on serum extravasation and astroglial death in the rat piriform cortex (PC) induced by status epilepticus (a prolonged seizure activity, SE) in order to propose an underlying pharmacological mechanism of CDDO-Me and its availability for treatment of vasogenic edema. CDDO-Me effectively mitigated serum extravasation and a massive astroglial loss in the PC following SE. CDDO-Me abrogated tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) synthesis in activated microglia by inhibiting nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) p65 serine 276 phosphorylation. CDDO-Me also abolished NF-κB threonine 435 phosphorylation in endothelial cells and TNF-α-mediated-phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT/endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) signaling cascades, which trigger vasogenic edema following SE. Furthermore, CDDO-Me increased astroglial viability via the up-regulation of nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) expression. Therefore, our findings suggest that CDDO-Me may ameliorate SE-induced vasogenic edema formation by regulating NF-κB p65 phosphorylations in microglia as well as endothelial cells and enhancing Nrf2 expression in astrocytes, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epilepsy: From Molecular Mechanisms to Targeted Therapies 2.0)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Genetics and Extracellular Vesicles of Pediatrics Sleep Disordered Breathing and Epilepsy
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(21), 5483; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20215483 - 04 Nov 2019
Abstract
Sleep remains one of the least understood phenomena in biology, and sleep disturbances are one of the most common behavioral problems in childhood. The etiology of sleep disorders is complex and involves both genetic and environmental factors. Epilepsy is the most popular childhood [...] Read more.
Sleep remains one of the least understood phenomena in biology, and sleep disturbances are one of the most common behavioral problems in childhood. The etiology of sleep disorders is complex and involves both genetic and environmental factors. Epilepsy is the most popular childhood neurological condition and is characterized by an enduring predisposition to generate epileptic seizures, and the neurobiological, cognitive, psychological, and social consequences of this condition. Sleep and epilepsy are interrelated, and the importance of sleep in epilepsy is less known. The state of sleep also influences whether a seizure will occur at a given time, and this differs considerably for various epilepsy syndromes. The development of epilepsy has been associated with single or multiple gene variants. The genetics of epilepsy is complex and disorders exhibit significant genetic heterogeneity and variability in the expressivity of seizures. Phenobarbital (PhB) is the most widely used antiepileptic drug. With its principal mechanism of action to prolong the opening time of the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-A receptor-associated chloride channel, it enhances chloride anion influx into neurons, with subsequent hyperpolarization, thereby reducing excitability. Enzymes that metabolize pharmaceuticals including PhB are well known for having genetic polymorphisms that contribute to adverse drug–drug interactions. PhB metabolism is highly dependent upon the cytochrome P450 (CYP450) and genetic polymorphisms can lead to variability in active drug levels. The highly polymorphic CYP2C19 isozymes are responsible for metabolizing a large portion of routinely prescribed drugs and variants contribute significantly to adverse drug reactions and therapeutic failures. A limited number of CYP2C19 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are involved in drug metabolism. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are circular membrane fragments released from the endosomal compartment as exosomes are shed from the surfaces of the membranes of most cell types. Increasing evidence indicated that EVs play a pivotal role in cell-to-cell communication. Theses EVs may play an important role between sleep, epilepsy, and treatments. The discovery of exosomes provides potential strategies for the diagnosis and treatment of many diseases including neurocognitive deficit. The aim of this study is to better understand and provide further knowledge about the metabolism and interactions between phenobarbital and CYP2C19 polymorphisms in children with epilepsy, interplay between sleep, and EVs. Understanding this interplay between epilepsy and sleep is helpful in the optimal treatment of all patients with epileptic seizures. The use of genetics and extracellular vesicles as precision medicine for the diagnosis and treatment of children with sleep disorder will improve the prognosis and the quality of life in patients with epilepsy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epilepsy: From Molecular Mechanisms to Targeted Therapies 2.0)
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