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Epilepsy Res. 2002 Jan;48(1-2):43-56.

Heightened seizure severity in somatostatin knockout mice.

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Department of Comparative Medicine, Stanford University, 300 Pasteur Drive, R102 Edwards Building, MC 5330, Stanford, CA 94305-5330, USA.


Patients and experimental models of temporal lobe epilepsy display loss of somatostatinergic neurons in the dentate gyrus. To determine if loss of the peptide somatostatin contributes to epileptic seizures we examined kainate-evoked seizures and kindling in somatostatin knockout mice. Somatostatin knockout mice were not observed to experience spontaneous seizures. Timm staining, acetylcholinesterase histochemistry, and immunocytochemistry for NPY, calbindin, calretinin, and parvalbumin revealed no compensatory changes or developmental abnormalities in the dentate gyrus of somatostatin knockout mice. Optical fractionator counting of Nissl-stained hilar neurons showed similar numbers of neurons in wild type and somatostatin knockout mice. Mice were treated systemically with kainic acid to evoke limbic seizures. Somatostatin knockout mice tended to have a shorter average latency to stage 5 seizures, their average maximal behavioral seizure score was higher, and they tended to be more likely to die than controls. In response to kindling by daily electrical stimulation of the perforant path, to more specifically challenge the dentate gyrus, mean afterdischarge duration in somatostatin knockout mice was slightly longer, but the number of treatments to five stage 4-5 seizures was similar to controls. Although we cannot exclude the possibility of undetected compensatory mechanisms in somatostatin knockout mice, these findings suggest that somatostatin may be mildly anticonvulsant, but its loss alone is unlikely to account for seizures in temporal lobe epilepsy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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