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Brain Res. 2012 Apr 23;1450:125-37. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2012.02.028. Epub 2012 Feb 20.

Consequences of pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus in immunodeficient mice.

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Departamento de Neurologia e Neurocirurgia, Disciplina de Neurologia Experimental, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


Systemic injection of pilocarpine in rodents induces status epilepticus (SE) and reproduces the main characteristics of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Different mechanisms are activated by SE contributing to cell death and immune system activation. We used BALB/c nude mice, a mutant that is severely immunocompromised, to characterize seizure pattern, neurochemical changes, cell death and c-Fos activation secondarily to pilocarpine-induced SE. The behavioral seizures were less severe in BALB/c nude than in BALB/c wild type mice. However, nude mice presented more tonic-clonic episodes and higher mortality rate during SE. The c-Fos expression was most prominent in the caudate-putamen, CA3 (p<0.05), dentate gyrus, entorhinal cortex (p<0.001), basolateral nucleus of amygdala (p<0.01) and piriform cortex (p<0.05) of BALB/c nude mice than of BALB/c. Besides, nude mice subjected to SE presented high number of Fluorojade-B (FJB) stained cells in the piriform cortex, amygdala (p<0.05) and hilus (p<0.001) in comparison with BALB/c mice. A significant increase in the level of glutamate and GABA was found in the hippocampus and cortex of BALB/c mice presenting SE in comparison to controls. However, the level of glutamate was higher in the brains of BALB nude mice than in the brains of BALB/c wild type mice, while the levels of GABA were unchanged. These results indicate that the brains of immunodeficient nude mice are more vulnerable to the deleterious effects of pilocarpine-induced SE as they present intense activation, increased glutamate levels and more cell death.

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