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Exp Neurol. 1995 Jun;133(2):215-24.

Suppressed epileptogenesis in BDNF mutant mice.

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Department of Neurology, University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.


Kindling is an animal model of epilepsy in which repeated electrical stimulations lead to progressive and permanent amplification of seizure activity, culminating in generalized convulsions. Each brief period of seizure activity during kindling epileptogenesis causes a marked, transient increase of the synthesis of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in cortical and hippocampal neurons. We find that the development of kindling is markedly suppressed in mice heterozygous for a deletion of the BDNF gene. In contrast, the maintenance of kindling is unaffected. The mutant mice show lower levels of BDNF mRNA in cortical and hippocampal neurons after seizures than do wild-type mice. Hippocampal mossy fiber sprouting is augmented in BDNF mutants but there are no other morphological abnormalities. These results show that BDNF plays an important role in establishing hyperexcitability during epileptogenesis, probably by increasing efficacy in stimulated synapses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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