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Mol Neurobiol. 2013 Dec;48(3):921-30. doi: 10.1007/s12035-013-8480-0. Epub 2013 Jun 20.

The imbalanced expression of adenosine receptors in an epilepsy model corrected using targeted mesenchymal stem cell transplantation.

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Department of Neurology, Tongji Hospital Affiliated to Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Jiefang Blvd., No.1095, Wuhan, 430030, China.


Adenosine inhibits epileptic episodes by interacting with G-protein-coupled receptors. This study examined the mechanism by which the inhibitory effect of adenosine becomes impaired during epileptogenesis. Dynamic changes in adenosine A1 receptors (A1Rs) and A2a receptors (A2aRs) were investigated in a kindling model of epilepsy. RT-PCR, Western blotting, and immunofluorescence results indicated that expression of A1Rs was increased in the hippocampus 24 h after kindling, but progressively decreased 1 and 6 months after kindling. Opposite changes were seen in the expression of A2aRs. This bidirectional change resulted in an imbalance between A1Rs and A2aRs and dysregulation of the adenosine system. Autologous mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) transplantation was used to correct this disorder and avoid side effects of systematic adenosine therapy. Paramagnetic iron oxide particles were used to mark and track the MSCs in vivo using MRI. The results indicated that the transplanted cells migrated along the callosum and settled at the ependymal layer. The MSCs displayed a relatively long survival time, at least 3 months. The improved AR expression and EEG findings suggested that MSC transplantation was a potentially effective means of treating refractory epilepsy.

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