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Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 1997 Oct 15;50(1-2):79-84.

Effects of pentylenetetrazol-induced status epilepticus on c-Fos and HSP72 immunoreactivity in the immature rat brain.

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  • 1INSERM U 398, Faculté de Médecine, Strasbourg, France.


Pentylenetetrazol (PTZ)-induced status epilepticus (SE) leads to acute and long-term metabolic decreases in specific brain regions of rats at 10 (P10) or 21 days after birth (P21). These decreases are not related to apparent neuronal damage. Therefore, to better understand the neuronal activation and stress response to PTZ in immature rats, we mapped the expression of c-Fos and of the 72 kDa heat-shock protein (HSP72) in the same model of severe SE induced by the repetitive i.p. injections of subconvulsive doses of PTZ. Rats were sacrificed either at 2 or 24 h after the onset of SE in order to reveal c-Fos immunoreactivity, and at 24 and 72 h for HSP72 expression. Hematoxylin-eosin staining was performed at 24, 72 and 144 h after SE. The expression of c-Fos at 2 h after SE was more marked at P21 than at P10 and was prominent at both ages in the hippocampal dentate gyrus, cerebral cortex and amygdala. Some immunoreactivity was also present in the hypothalamus, thalamus and a few brainstem and cerebellar regions at both ages. There was a good relation between the regions expressing c-Fos and those exhibiting acute metabolic decreases at P21. Conversely, PTZ seizures did not lead to any expression of c-Fos at 24 h after SE or of HSP72 at 24 or 72 h at any age. Cell density was not affected by PTZ-induced SE at any age and at any time. These results suggest that c-Fos is a useful marker of neuronal activation induced by severe and prolonged seizures in the immature brain. The lack of HSP72 and of late c-Fos expression likely reflect the absence of neuronal damage in this model of PTZ-induced SE in the immature rat.

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