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Hippocampus. 2017 Oct;27(10):1054-1068. doi: 10.1002/hipo.22752. Epub 2017 Jul 18.

Seizure severity-dependent selective vulnerability of the granule cell layer and aberrant neurogenesis in the rat hippocampus.

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Department of Histology and Neuroanatomy, Tokyo Medical University, Tokyo, Japan.


The pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus rodent model has been commonly used to analyze the mechanisms of human temporal lobe epilepsy. Recent studies using this model have demonstrated that epileptic seizures lead to increased adult neurogenesis of the dentate granule cells, and cause abnormal cellular organization in dentate neuronal circuits. In this study, we examined these structural changes in rats with seizures of varying severity. In rats with frequent severe seizures, we found a clear loss of Prox1 and NeuN expression in the dentate granule cell layer (GCL), which was confined mainly to the suprapyramidal blade of the GCL at the septal and middle regions of the septotemporal axis of the hippocampus. In the damaged suprapyramidal region, the number of immature neurons in the subgranular zone was markedly reduced. In contrast, in rats with less frequent severe seizures, there was almost no loss of Prox1 and NeuN expression, and the number of immature neurons was increased. In rats with no or slight loss of Prox1 expression in the GCL, ectopic immature neurons were detected in the molecular layer of the suprapyramidal blade in addition to the hilus, and formed chainlike aggregated structures along the blood vessels up to the hippocampal fissure, suggesting that newly generated neurons migrate at least partially along blood vessels to the hippocampal fissure. These results suggest that seizures of different severity cause different effects on GCL damage, neurogenesis, and the migration of new neurons, and that these structural changes are selective to subdivisions of the GCL and the septotemporal axis of the hippocampus.


PSA-NCAM; Prox1; adult neurogenesis; ectopic migration; epilepsy; progenitor

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