BACKGROUND/AIMS:Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are a class of long noncoding RNAs with a closed loop structure that regulate gene expression as microRNA sponges. CircRNAs are more enriched in brain tissue, but knowledge of the role of circRNAs in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) has remained limited. This study is the first to identify the global expression profiles and characteristics of circRNAs in human temporal cortex tissue from TLE patients. METHODS:Temporal cortices were collected from 17 TLE patients and 17 non-TLE patients. Total RNA was isolated, and high-throughput sequencing was used to profile the transcriptome of dysregulated circRNAs. Quantitative PCR was performed for the validation of changed circRNAs. RESULTS:In total, 78983 circRNAs, including 15.29% known and 84.71% novel circRNAs, were detected in this study. Intriguingly, 442 circRNAs were differentially expressed between the TLE and non-TLE groups (fold change≥2.0 and FDR≤0.05). Of these circRNAs, 188 were up-regulated, and 254 were down-regulated in the TLE patient group. Eight circRNAs were validated by real-time PCR. Remarkably, circ-EFCAB2 was intensely up-regulated, while circ-DROSHA expression was significantly lower in the TLE group than in the non-TLE group (P<0.05). Bioinformatic analysis revealed that circ-EFCAB2 binds to miR-485-5p to increase the expression level of the ion channel CLCN6, while circ-DROSHA interacts with miR-1252-5p to decrease the expression level of ATP1A2. CONCLUSIONS:The dysregulations of circRNAs may reflect the pathogenesis of TLE and circ-EFCAB2 and circ-DROSHA might be potential therapeutic targets and biomarkers in TLE patients.