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Neurology. 2013 Apr 23;80(17):1571-6. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e31828f18d8. Epub 2013 Mar 27.

ADORA2A polymorphism predisposes children to encephalopathy with febrile status epilepticus.

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Department of Developmental Medical Sciences, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Japan.



Acute encephalopathy with biphasic seizures and late reduced diffusion (AESD) is a childhood encephalopathy following severe febrile seizures, leaving neurologic sequelae in many patients. However, its pathogenesis remains unclear. In this study, we clarified that genetic variation in the adenosine A2A receptor (ADORA2A), whose activation is involved in excitotoxicity, may be a predisposing factor of AESD.


We analyzed 4 ADORA2A single nucleotide polymorphisms in 85 patients with AESD. The mRNA expression in brain samples, mRNA and protein expression in lymphoblasts, as well as the production of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) by lymphoblasts in response to adenosine were compared among ADORA2A diplotypes.


Four single nucleotide polymorphisms were completely linked, which resulted in 2 haplotypes, A and B. Haplotype A (C at rs2298383, T at rs5751876, deletion at rs35320474, and C at rs4822492) frequency in patients was significantly higher than in controls (p = 0.005). Homozygous haplotype A (AA diplotype) had a higher risk of developing AESD (odds ratio 2.32, 95% confidence interval 1.32-4.08; p = 0.003) via a recessive model. mRNA expression was significantly higher in AA than AB and BB diplotypes, both in the brain (p = 0.003 and 0.002, respectively) and lymphoblasts (p = 0.035 and 0.003, respectively). In lymphoblasts, ADORA2A protein expression (p = 0.024), as well as cellular cAMP production (p = 0.0006), was significantly higher in AA than BB diplotype.


AA diplotype of ADORA2A is associated with AESD and may alter the intracellular adenosine/cAMP cascade, thereby promoting seizures and excitotoxic brain damage in patients.

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