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Publication Detail
SCN1A overexpression, associated with a genomic region marked by a risk variant for a common epilepsy, raises seizure susceptibility
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Authors:
    Silvennoinen K, Gawel K, Tsortouktzidis D, Pitsch J, Alhusaini S, van Loo KMJ, Picardo R, Michalak Z, Pagni S, Martins Custodio H, Mills J, Whelan CD, de Zubicaray GI, McMahon KL, van der Ent W, Kirstein-Smardzewska KJ, Tiraboschi E, Mudge JM, Frankish A, Thom M, Wright MJ, Thompson PM, Schoch S, Becker AJ, Esguerra CV, Sisodiya SM
  • Publisher:
    Springer Science and Business Media LLC
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    Acta Neuropathologica
  • Medium:
  • Status:
  • Country:
  • Print ISSN:
  • PII:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    Febrile seizures, Genotype, Hippocampal sclerosis, MRI, Zebrafish
  • Notes:
    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis and a history of febrile seizures is associated with common variation at rs7587026, located in the promoter region of SCN1A. We sought to explore possible underlying mechanisms. SCN1A expression was analysed in hippocampal biopsy specimens of individuals with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis who underwent surgical treatment, and hippocampal neuronal cell loss was quantitatively assessed using immunohistochemistry. In healthy individuals, hippocampal volume was measured using MRI. Analyses were performed stratified by rs7587026 type. To study the functional consequences of increased SCN1A expression, we generated, using transposon-mediated bacterial artificial chromosome transgenesis, a zebrafish line expressing exogenous scn1a, and performed EEG analysis on larval optic tecta at 4 day post-fertilization. Finally, we used an in vitro promoter analysis to study whether the genetic motif containing rs7587026 influences promoter activity. Hippocampal SCN1A expression differed by rs7587026 genotype (Kruskal-Wallis test P = 0.004). Individuals homozygous for the minor allele showed significantly increased expression compared to those homozygous for the major allele (Dunn's test P = 0.003), and to heterozygotes (Dunn's test P = 0.035). No statistically significant differences in hippocampal neuronal cell loss were observed between the three genotypes. Among 597 healthy participants, individuals homozygous for the minor allele at rs7587026 displayed significantly reduced mean hippocampal volume compared to major allele homozygotes (Cohen's D = - 0.28, P = 0.02), and to heterozygotes (Cohen's D = - 0.36, P = 0.009). Compared to wild type, scn1lab-overexpressing zebrafish larvae exhibited more frequent spontaneous seizures [one-way ANOVA F(4,54) = 6.95 (P < 0.001)]. The number of EEG discharges correlated with the level of scn1lab overexpression [one-way ANOVA F(4,15) = 10.75 (P < 0.001]. Finally, we showed that a 50 bp promoter motif containing rs7587026 exerts a strong regulatory role on SCN1A expression, though we could not directly link this to rs7587026 itself. Our results develop the mechanistic link between rs7587026 and mesial temporal lobe epilepsy with hippocampal sclerosis and a history of febrile seizures. Furthermore, we propose that quantitative precision may be important when increasing SCN1A expression in current strategies aiming to treat seizures in conditions involving SCN1A haploinsufficiency, such as Dravet syndrome.
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Clinical & Experimental Epilepsy
Clinical & Experimental Epilepsy
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