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J Neuroimmunol. 2002 Jul;128(1-2):9-15.

Gene expression analysis reveals altered brain transcription of glutamate receptors and inflammatory genes in a patient with chronic focal (Rasmussen's) encephalitis.

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Department of Neurology, University of California at San Francisco, 513 Parnassus Avenue, S-256, San Francisco, CA 94143-0435, USA.


Chronic focal encephalitis (CFE) generally presents with seizures that increase in severity and frequency as the disease progresses. Malfunction of synaptic transmission through altered glutamate signaling has been proposed as a likely mechanism triggering CFE. In addition, profuse inflammation is commonly seen in histopathological examination of resected tissue. To further explore the roles of glutamatergic activity and inflammation in this disease, we examined the expression of 52 genes by real time RT-PCR (kinetic RT-PCR or kRT-PCR) in a brain specimen from a CFE patient with active seizures, eight control specimens from patients with several other neurologic disorders, and two from individuals with no recorded history of neurological abnormalities. The CFE specimen displayed a dramatic increase in the expression of several inflammation-related genes (i.e. IL1 beta, IgVH, and IL2R gamma among others) and a striking down-regulation of several GluRs, in particular mGluR4. This type of analysis may prove useful in describing the molecular events underlying intractable epilepsy.

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