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J Neurosci. 1997 Jun 15;17(12):4688-99.

Endogenous serine protease inhibitor modulates epileptic activity and hippocampal long-term potentiation.

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Pharma Division, Preclinical Research, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Limited, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland.


Protease nexin-1 (PN-1), a member of the serpin superfamily, controls the activity of extracellular serine proteases and is expressed in the brain. Mutant mice overexpressing PN-1 in brain under the control of the Thy-1 promoter (Thy 1/PN-1) or lacking PN-1 (PN-1-/-) were found to develop epileptic activity in vivo and in vitro. Theta burst-induced long-term potentiation (LTP) and NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission in the CA1 field of hippocampal slices were augmented in Thy 1/PN-1 mice and reduced in PN-1-/- mice. Compensatory changes in GABA-mediated inhibition in Thy 1/PN-1 mice suggest that altered brain PN-1 levels lead to an imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission.

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