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Neuroscience. 2002;111(1):57-69.

Altered expression of voltage-dependent calcium channel alpha(1) subunits in temporal lobe epilepsy with Ammon's horn sclerosis.

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  • 1University Department of Neurology, University of Vienna, Vienna General Hospital, Austria.


Voltage-dependent calcium channels, the initial components in the calcium signalling cascade, are increasingly being recognised as relevant factors in the pathology of epilepsy. To further characterise their role in temporal lobe epilepsy associated with Ammon's horn sclerosis, we investigated the immunohistochemical distribution of five different voltage-dependent calcium channel alpha(1) subunits (alpha(1A), alpha(1B), alpha(1C), alpha(1D), alpha(1E)) in 14 hippocampal specimens of patients with Ammon's horn sclerosis in comparison with eight autopsy control cases. In epilepsy specimens an increased immunoreactivity was observed for alpha(1A), alpha(1B), alpha(1D) and alpha(1E) in the neuropil of the dentate gyrus molecular layer. Dentate gyrus granule cells and residual CA3 pyramidal neurones showed enhanced immunoreactivity for alpha(1A), while labelling of these neurones was decreased for alpha(1C). Astrocytes in Ammon's horn sclerosis specimens were strongly immunoreactive for the alpha(1C) subunit contrasting with an absent astrocytic alpha(1C) labelling in controls. Our results suggest that the expression of calcium channels in neurones and glial cells is dynamically regulated in temporal lobe epilepsy, supporting the relevance of calcium signalling pathways for this disease.

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