Childhood absence epilepsy (CAE) is an epilepsy syndrome with seizures occurring in the early childhood, highlighting that seizures susceptibility in CAE is dependent on brain development. The Notch 1 signalling pathway is important in brain development, yet the role of the Notch1 signalling pathway in CAE remains elusive. We here explored Notch1 and its modulator notchless homologue 1 (NLE1) expression in WAG/Rij and control rats using immunohistochemistry. Functional Notch 1 effects were assessed in WAG/Rij rats in vivo. WAG/Rij rats lack the developmental increase in cortical Notch1 and NLE 1 mRNA expression seen in controls, and Notch 1 and NLE1 mRNA and protein expression were lower in somatosensory cortices of WAG/Rij rats when compared to controls. This coincided with an overall decreased cortical GFAP expression in the early development in WAG/Rij rats. These effects were region-specific as they were not observed in thalamic tissues. Neuron-to-glia ratio as a marker of the impact of Notch signalling on differentiation was higher in layer 4 of somatosensory cortex of WAG/Rij rats. Acute application of Notch 1 agonist Jagged 1 suppressed, whereas DAPT, a Notch antagonist, facilitated spike and wave discharges (SWDs) in WAG/Rij rats. These findings point to Notch1 as an important signalling pathway in CAE which likely shapes architectural organization of the somatosensory cortex, a region critically involved in developmental epileptogenesis in CAE. More immediate effects of Notch 1 signalling are seen on in vivo SWDs in CAE, pointing to the Notch 1 pathway as a possible treatment target in CAE.
Brain Structure and Function – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 16, 2017
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