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Free Content Epilepsy, Regulation of Brain Energy Metabolism and Neurotransmission

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Abstract:

Seizures are the result of a sudden and temporary synchronization of neuronal activity, the reason for which is not clearly understood. Astrocytes participate in the control of neurotransmitter storage and neurotransmission efficacy. They provide fuel to neurons, which need a high level of energy to sustain normal and pathological neuronal activities, such as during epilepsy. Various genetic or induced animal models have been developed and used to study epileptogenic mechanisms. Methionine sulfoximine induces both seizures and the accumulation of brain glycogen, which might be considered as a putative energy store to neurons in various animals. Animals subjected to methionine sulfoximine develop seizures similar to the most striking form of human epilepsy, with a long pre-convulsive period of several hours, a long convulsive period during up to 48 hours and a post convulsive period during which they recover normal behavior. The accumulation of brain glycogen has been demonstrated in both the cortex and cerebellum as early as the pre-convulsive period, indicating that this accumulation is not a consequence of seizures. The accumulation results from an activation of gluconeogenesis specifically localized to astrocytes, both in vivo and in vitro. Both seizures and brain glycogen accumulation vary when using different inbred strains of mice. C57BL/6J is the most “resistant” strain to methionine sulfoximine, while CBA/J is the most “sensitive” one. The present review describes the data obtained on methionine sulfoximine dependent seizures and brain glycogen in the light of neurotransmission, highlighting the relevance of brain glycogen content in epilepsies.

Keywords: Epilepsy; astrocytes; chemically-induced epilepsy; gluconeogenesis; glycogen; glycogenesis; methionine sulfoximine

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/092986709787549316

Affiliations: Laboratoire de Neurobiologie, Universite d'Orleans, 45069, Orleans Cedex 1, France.

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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