Focal cortical dysplasia (FCD) is an important cause of intractable epilepsy. Previous rat studies have utilized freeze lesioning of neonatal animals to model FCD; however, such models are unable to demonstrate spontaneous seizures without seizure-provoking events. Therefore, we created an animal model with multiple FCD, produced during embryonic development, and observed whether spontaneous seizures occurred. Furthermore, we examined the relationship between FCD and epileptogenesis using immunohistochemistry. At 18 days postconception, a frozen metal probe was placed bilaterally on the scalps of Sprague-Dawley rat embryos through the uterus wall to produce multiple FCD. Electroencephalogram (EEG) and video recording were performed from postnatal day (P) 35 to P77. Brain tissues were examined immunohistochemically at P28 and P78 using semiquantitative densitometry. Eleven of 16 rats (68.8%) showed spontaneous seizures arising in the hippocampus from P47. Movement cessation followed by sniffing and mastication, culminating in wet-dog shaking, was seen during the hippocampal EEG discharges. FCD was observed in the bilateral frontoparietal lobes. The expression levels of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) subunits 1, 2A, 2B, the glutamate/aspartate transporter and the glial glutamate transporter 1 (GLT1) at FCD sites were increased at P28 and P78. There were no major histological abnormalities in the hippocampi compared with those in the cortex. However, the expression levels of NMDAR 2A and 2B were increased at P28. Levels of NMDAR1, 2A and 2B, the glutamate/aspartate transporter and GLT1 were also increased at P78.We created an animal model showing spontaneous seizures without a provoking event except for the existence of cortical dysplasia, and without a genetic or general systematic cause like MAM injection or irradiation. The seizures resembled human temporal lobe epilepsy both clinically and on EEG. Alterations in the levels of glutamatergic and GABAergic receptors were investigated during growth. This model should enable better clarification of the mechanisms underlying the development of human epilepsy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes