Early-life status epilepticus induces ectopic granule cells in adult mice dentate gyrus

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Abstract

A large number of aberrant hilar granule cells (GCs) are found in the patients and animal models of adult temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), and these “ectopic” GCs have synchronous epileptiform bursting with other hippocampal neurons. In this study, we investigated whether early-life status epilepticus (SE) induces hilar ectopic GCs that remain in the adulthood because TLE patients frequently experience seizures in the early childhood when a large number of postnatally born GCs migrate in the hilus. To label newborn GCs, bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) was injected daily for three consecutive days to C57BL/6J mice at different postnatal days starting at postnatal-0-day-old (P0) (Group1), P7 (Group2), or P35 (Group3). Mice in each group underwent pilocarpine-induced SE at P14. Six months later, to determine whether SE induces ectopic GCs, we plotted the distribution of postnatally born GCs which were immunohistochemically defined as BrdU- and the GC marker Prox1-colabeled cells. We also examined whether SE causes the granule cell layer (GCL) dispersion and/or the mossy fiber (MF) sprouting, other representative pathologies of TLE hippocampus. Only SE-experiencing mice in Group1 had significantly more neonatally born ectopic GCs compared with control mice. Neither control nor SE mice had dispersed GCL. All mice that underwent SE had sprouted MFs in CA3. We conclude that early-life SE disrupts a normal incorporation of GCs born pre-SE but not post-SE, inducing ectopic GCs in the adult hilus. Interestingly, the results also indicate that developmentally earlier born GCs are more responsive to early-life SE in terms of the emergence of ectopic GCs.

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