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Neuroscience. 1994 Aug;61(4):773-87.

Correlation between reactive sprouting and microtubule protein expression in epileptic hippocampus.

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INSERM U29, Paris, France.

Erratum in

  • Neuroscience 1994 Nov;63(2):627.


Temporal lobe epilepsy in both human and rats is associated with a collateral sprouting of hippocampal mossy fibers (i.e. the axons of granule cells). This sprouting generates abnormal recurrent synaptic connections. We previously showed that in the experimental model of temporal lobe epilepsy induced by an intra-amygdaloid injection of kainate, the synaptic remodeling of mossy fibers was preceded by a transient increased expression of alpha-tubulin in granule cells. This suggests that an overproduction of tubulin polymers may be responsible, at least in part, for the elongation and side-branching of mossy fibers, which occurs 12-30 days after seizures. In the present study we show that this increased expression of alpha-tubulin is accompanied by an increased expression of the microtubule-associated proteins MAP2 and TAU. Thus, using in situ hybridization, we observe that MAP2 messenger RNA levels increased in granule cell bodies and dendrites from day 3 to two weeks after kainate treatment. This rise is associated with a concomitant transient increase of MAP2 immunoreactivity in the granule cell dendrites. TAU messenger RNA also increases in granule cell bodies, while TAU immunoreactivity increases in their axons, the mossy fibers. The time course of these changes parallels that of alpha-tubulin, and develops before and during the axonal mossy fiber sprouting. Since MAP2 and TAU are important for the initiation, elongation and stabilization of neurites, we suggest that the overexpression of these proteins via the formation of microtubules may play an important role in the sprouting of mossy fibers in epileptic rats.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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