Neuronal dysfunction due to iron accumulation in conjunction with reactive oxygen species (ROS) could represent an important, yet underappreciated, component of the epileptogenic process. However, to date, alterations in iron metabolism in the epileptogenic brain have not been addressed in detail. Iron-related neuropathology and antioxidant metabolic processes were investigated in resected brain tissue from patients with temporal lobe epilepsy and hippocampal sclerosis (TLE-HS), post-mortem brain tissue from patients who died after status epilepticus (SE) as well as brain tissue from the electrically induced SE rat model of TLE. Magnetic susceptibility of the presumed seizure-onset zone from three patients with focal epilepsy was compared during and after seizure activity. Finally, the cellular effects of iron overload were studied in vitro using an acute mouse hippocampal slice preparation and cultured human fetal astrocytes. While iron-accumulating neurons had a pyknotic morphology, astrocytes appeared to acquire iron-sequestrating capacity as indicated by prominent ferritin expression and iron retention in the hippocampus of patients with SE or TLE. Interictal to postictal comparison revealed increased magnetic susceptibilit...Continue Reading
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Astrocytes are glial cells that support the blood-brain barrier, facilitate neurotransmission, provide nutrients to neurons, and help repair damaged nervous tissues. Here is the latest research.