This study aimed to determine if there is an association between mitophagy and refractory temporal lobe epilepsy (rTLE) with hippocampal sclerosis. During epilepsy surgery, we collected tissue samples from the hippocampi and temporal lobe cortexes of rTLE patients with hippocampal sclerosis (as diagnosed by a pathologist). Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was used to study the ultrastructural features of the tissue. To probe for mitophagy, we used fluorescent immunolabeling to determine if mitochondrial and autophagosomal markers colocalized. Fourteen samples were examined. TEM results showed that early autophagosomes were present and mitochondria were impaired to different degrees in hippocampi. Immunofluorescent labeling showed colocalization of the autophagosome marker LC3B with the mitochondrial marker TOMM20 in hippocampi and temporal lobe cortexes, indicating the presence of mitophagy. Mitochondrial and autophagosomal marker colocalization was lower in hippocampus than in temporal lobe cortex (P < 0.001). Accumulation of autophagosomes and mitophagy activation are implicated in rTLE with hippocampal sclerosis. Aberrant accumulation of damaged mitochondria, especially in the hippocampus, can be attributed to defects in mitophagy, which may participate in epileptogenesis.
Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 12, 2017
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