Fluorocitrate-mediated astroglial dysfunction causes seizures Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • A role for astroglia in epileptogenesis has been hypothesised but is not established. Low doses of fluorocitrate specifically and reversibly disrupt astroglial metabolism by blocking aconitase, an enzyme integral to the tricarboxylic acid cycle. We used cerebral cortex injections of fluorocitrate, at a dose that we demonstrated to inhibit astroglial metabolism selectively, to determine whether astroglial disturbances lead to seizures. Rats were halothane-anesthetized, and 0.8 nmol of sodium fluorocitrate was injected into the cerebral cortex. Extradural electroencephalogram (EEG) electrodes were implanted, after which the anesthesia was ceased and the animals were observed. In all experiments, 14 of 15 fluorocitrate-treated animals exhibited epileptiform EEG discharges, with some animals exhibiting convulsive seizures. Discharges commenced as early as 30 min postfluorocitrate injection. Intraperitoneal octanol, but not halothane by inhalation, given to test the possible participation of gap junctions in EEG discharge generation, blocked or delayed the occurrence of discharges after fluorocitrate. These results indicate that focal cerebrocortical astroglial dysfunction leads to focal epileptiform discharges and sometimes to convulsive seizures and that the process possibly depends on effects mediated by gap junctions.

authors

  • Willoughby, John O
  • Mackenzie, Lorraine
  • Broberg, Marita
  • Thoren, Anna E
  • Medvedev, Andrei
  • Sims, Neil R
  • Nilsson, Michael

publication date

  • October 1, 2003