Viral risk factor for seizures: Pathobiology of dynorphin in herpes simplex viral (HSV-1) seizures in an animal model

Marylou V. Solbrig, Russell Adrian, Daniel Y. Chang, Guey Chuen Perng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Up to 89% of patients with herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1) encephalitis can have seizures. Possibly, viruses are environmental triggers for seizures in genetically vulnerable individuals. Inherited dynorphin promoter polymorphisms are associated with temporal lobe epilepsy and febrile seizures in man. In animals, the dynorphin system in the hippocampus regulates excitability. The hypothesis that reduced dynorphin expression in dentate gyrus of hippocampus due to HSV-1 infection leads to epileptic responses was tested in a rat model of HSV-1 encephalitis using EEG recording, histopathological and neuropharmacologic probes. HSV-1 infection causes loss of dynorphin A-like immunoreactivity in hippocampus, an effect independent of direct viral interference and cell loss. A kappa opioid receptor agonist U50488 effectively blocks ictal activity, linking absence of dynorphin to propensity for epileptic activity. These findings show a vulnerability of hippocampal dynorphin during infection, suggesting a neurochemical basis for seizures that may be generalizable to other encephalitic viruses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)612-620
Number of pages9
JournalNeurobiology of Disease
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Sep

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology

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