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Epilepsia. 2011 Mar;52(3):e12-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2011.02988.x. Epub 2011 Mar 2.

Neuroaminidase reduces interictal spikes in a rat temporal lobe epilepsy model.

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Department of General Physiology of Nervous System, Bogomoletz Institute of Physiology, Kiev, Ukraine.


Interictal spikes have been implicated in epileptogenesis and cognitive dysfunction in epilepsy. Unfortunately, antiepileptic drugs have shown poor efficacy in suppressing interictal discharges; novel therapies are needed. Surface charge on neuronal membranes provides a novel target for abolishing interictal spikes. This property can be modulated through the use of neuraminidase, an enzyme that decreases the amount of negatively charged sialic acid. In the present report we determined whether applying neuraminidase to brains of rats with a history of status epilepticus would reduce number of interictal discharges. Following pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus, rats received intrahippocampal injections of neuraminidase, which significantly decreased the number of interictal spikes recorded in the CA1 region. This study provides evidence that sialic acid degradation can reduce the number of interictal spikes. Furthermore, the results suggest that modifying surface charge created by negatively charged sialic acid may provide new opportunities for reducing aberrant epileptiform events in epilepsy.

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