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Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2004 Feb;24(1):77-85.

Neuronal and glial expression of the multidrug resistance gene product in an experimental epilepsy model.

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Instituto de Biología Celular y Neurociencia "Prof. Eduardo De Robertis," Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


1. Failure of anticonvulsive drugs to prevent seizures is a common complication of epilepsy treatment known as drug-refractory epilepsy but their causes are not well understood. It is hypothesized that the multidrug resistance P-glycoprotein (Pgp-170), the product of the MDR-1 gene that is normally expressed in several excretory tissues including the blood brain barrier, may be participating in the refractory epilepsy. 2. Using two monoclonal antibodies against Pgp-170, we investigated the expression and cellular distribution of this protein in the rat brain during experimentally induced epilepsy. Repeated seizures were induced in male Wistar rats by daily administration of 3-mercaptopropionic acid (MP) 45 mg/kg i.p. for either 4 days (MP-4) or 7 days (MP-7). Control rats received an equivalent volume of vehicle. One day after the last injection, rats were sacrificed and brains were processed for immunohistochemistry for Pgp-170. As it was previously described, Pgp-170 immunostaining was observed in some brain capillary endothelial cells of animals from control group. 3. Increased Pgp-170 immunoreactivity was detected in MP-treated animals. Besides the Pgp-170 expressed in blood vessels, neuronal, and glial immunostaining was detected in hippocampus, striatum, and cerebral cortex of MP-treated rats. Pgp-170 immunolabeled neurons and glial cells were observed in a nonhomogeneous distribution. MP-4 animals presented a very prominent Pgp-170 immunostaining in the capillary endothelium, surrounding astrocytes and some neighboring neurons while MP-7 group showed increased neuronal labeling. 4. Our results demonstrate a selective increase in Pgp-170 immunoreactivity in the brain capillary endothelial cells, astrocytes, and neurons during repetitive MP-induced seizures. 5. The role for this Pgp-170 overexpression in endothelium and astrocytes as a clearance mechanism in the refractory epilepsy, and the consequences of neuronal Pgp-170 expression remain to be disclosed.

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