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Neuron. 2013 Jul 10;79(1):31-8. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.04.027. Epub 2013 Jun 20.

Transient inhibition of TrkB kinase after status epilepticus prevents development of temporal lobe epilepsy.

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Department of Neurobiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


Temporal lobe epilepsy is the most common and often devastating form of human epilepsy. The molecular mechanism underlying the development of temporal lobe epilepsy remains largely unknown. Emerging evidence suggests that activation of the BDNF receptor TrkB promotes epileptogenesis caused by status epilepticus. We investigated a mouse model in which a brief episode of status epilepticus results in chronic recurrent seizures, anxiety-like behavior, and destruction of hippocampal neurons. We used a chemical-genetic approach to selectively inhibit activation of TrkB. We demonstrate that inhibition of TrkB commencing after status epilepticus and continued for 2 weeks prevents recurrent seizures, ameliorates anxiety-like behavior, and limits loss of hippocampal neurons when tested weeks to months later. That transient inhibition commencing after status epilepticus can prevent these long-lasting devastating consequences establishes TrkB signaling as an attractive target for developing preventive treatments of epilepsy in humans.

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