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J Neurosci. 2012 Oct 10;32(41):14145-55. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2932-12.2012.

A knock-in model of human epilepsy in Drosophila reveals a novel cellular mechanism associated with heat-induced seizure.

Author information

  • 1Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California 92697-1280, USA.

Abstract

Over 40 missense mutations in the human SCN1A sodium channel gene are linked to an epilepsy syndrome termed genetic epilepsy with febrile seizures plus (GEFS+). Inheritance of GEFS+ is dominant, but the underlying cellular mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here we report that knock-in of a GEFS+ SCN1A mutation (K1270T) into the Drosophila sodium channel gene, para, causes a semidominant temperature-induced seizure phenotype. Electrophysiological studies of GABAergic interneurons in the brains of adult GEFS+ flies reveal a novel cellular mechanism underlying heat-induced seizures: the deactivation threshold for persistent sodium currents reversibly shifts to a more negative voltage when the temperature is elevated. This leads to sustained depolarizations in GABAergic neurons and reduced inhibitory activity in the central nervous system. Furthermore, our data indicate a natural temperature-dependent shift in sodium current deactivation (exacerbated by mutation) may contribute to febrile seizures in GEFS+ and perhaps normal individuals.

PMID:
23055484
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3482260
Free PMC Article

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