Epilepsy research focused on astrocytes

Mariko Onodera and Jan Meyer perform an experiment with potassium-sensitive microelectrodes in the Institute of Neurobiology at HHU.

Press Release:

During epileptic seizures, a large number of nerve cells in the brain fire excessively and in synchrony. This hyperactivity may lead to uncontrolled shaking of the body and involve periods of loss of consciousness. While about two thirds of patients respond to anti-epileptic medication, the remainder is refractory to medical treatment and shows drug-resistance. These patients are in urgent need for new therapeutic strategies.

Together with colleagues in Japan, Prof. Dr. Christine Rose and her doctoral student Jan Meyer from the Institute of Neurobiology at HHU have performed a study to address the cellular mechanisms that promote the development of epilepsy. While up to now, most studies and anti-epileptic drugs targeted nerve cells (neurons), this research team focused on a class of glial cells known as astrocytes.

Glial cells account for approximately half of all cells in the brain. There are different types of glial cells, which perform different functions. Astrocytes control the local environment and are responsible for the ion balance in the brain, but also play an important role in signal transmission between neurons.

In their recent paper, the researchers show that epileptic discharges lead to a rise in the pH of astrocytes, that is in their intracellular ‘alkalisation’. The change in pH disrupts the communication within the intercellular astrocyte networks. This reduced communication between astrocytes appears to exacerbate epileptic activity of neurons.

This finding points towards a potential new target for suppressing epileptogenesis at a very early stage, namely by using drugs to suppress changes in astrocytic pH accompanying neuronal activity.

The researchers were able to confirm this option by showing that animals which were given such drugs suffered less severely from epileptic hyperexcitability than untreated animals.

Prof. Rose said: “This observation is very intriguing. But it still needs to be established whether or not it can be transferred to humans. And it will take a very long time before any potential drug can be developed and be really used in the clinics.”

###

The research was carried out as a collaboration between the HHU and three universities in Japan (Keio University and Tokyo Medical and Dental University in Tokyo, Tohoku University in Sendai) as part of the “Young Glia” programme of the DFG-Priority Programme SPP 1757 “Functional Specialisations of Neuroglia” coordinated by Prof. Rose. This programme promotes collaboration between German and Japanese laboratories. In particular, it encourages and assists young scientists in realising their own bi-national research projects. For example, the HHU doctoral student Jan Meyer travelled to Japan, while Mariko Onodera from Tohoku University spent two periods working at the Institute of Neurobiology in Düsseldorf.

Original publication

Mariko Onodera, Jan Meyer, Kota Furukawa, Yuichi Hiraoka, Tomomi Aida, Kohichi Tanaka, Kenji F. Tanaka, Christine R. Rose, and Ko Matsui, Exacerbation of epilepsy by astrocyte alkalization and gap junction uncoupling, Journal of Neuroscience, 2021

Advertisement:

SaleBestseller No. 1
Wyllie's Treatment of Epilepsy: Principles and Practice
  • Hardcover Book
  • Wyllie MD, Elaine (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1096 Pages - 05/13/2020 (Publication Date) - LWW (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 2
Epilepsy Board Review: A Comprehensive Guide
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 387 Pages - 06/28/2017 (Publication Date) - Springer (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 3
My Last Round
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Roberto Farías, Héctor Morales (Actors)
  • Julio Jorquera Arriagada (Director) - Julio Jorquera Arriagada (Writer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)
SaleBestseller No. 4
Treating Epilepsy Naturally : A Guide to Alternative and Adjunct Therapies
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Murphy, Patricia (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 288 Pages - 10/17/2001 (Publication Date) - McGraw-Hill Education (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 5
I wear Purple for my Daughter - Epilepsy Awareness Shirt
  • Epilepsy Awareness Shirt, Epilepsy My daughter, Supporting My Daughter, Supporting My Daughter Epilepsy Awareness, epilepsy shirts, epilepsy awareness shirts womens, i have epilepsy shirt, epilepsy shirts womens, funny epilepsy shirts,
  • Epilepsy, Epilepsy Awareness Shirts, Epilepsy Shirt, Epilepsy shirts, epilepsy bracelet, epilepsy awareness products, epilepsy necklace, epilepsy books, epilepsy jewelry, epilepsy treatment, epilepsy diet, epilepsy ribbon, epilepsy cure, Epilepsy baby, Epilepsy children, purple epilepsy, Epilepsy hero, Epilepsy son, Epilepsy My daughter, Epilepsy Awareness Shirts
  • Lightweight, Classic fit, Double-needle sleeve and bottom hem
SaleBestseller No. 6
Epilepsy in Children: What Every Parent Needs to Know
  • Demos Medical Publishing
  • Devinsky MD, Orrin (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 320 Pages - 12/02/2015 (Publication Date) - Demos Health (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 7
Epilepsy: A Patient and Family Guide
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Devinsky MD, Orrin (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 411 Pages - 12/21/2007 (Publication Date) - Demos Health (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 8
Cloth Face Mask Washable Anti Filter Dust Fabric Face Covering Mask Reusable Printed Epilepsy Awareness My Daughter's Fight is My Fight
  • Material: Made of 100 % Polyester, super soft and breathable, will not rub your face.
  • Size:length 7.9 ", width 5.9", With Adjustable Ear-loops Masks can not only bring your comfort, protect u from dust, M-shaped nose clip for a comfortable fit,Allows for easy breathability.
  • Comfortable:With Soft Elastic Adjustable Ear Loop, Comfort Fit. You Can Freely Adjust The Length Of The Straps However You Desire. Easy To Wear But Not Hurt Your Ear.
  • Suitable For Outdoors And Indoors Activities. Such As Cycling, Camping, Running, Hiking, Traveling, Mowing, Gardening, Climbing And Daily Use.
  • Wash it by hand with cold water and it will dry quickly.
Bestseller No. 9
VNOX "Epilepsy Stamped Medical Symbol Minimal 4MM Black Stainless Steel Thin Bracelet for Women Girl,7.5"
  • MATERIAL: 316L stainless steel,durability,dighly resistant to scratching,rusting and tarnishing,high Quality.ITEM SIZE:Width 4mm,Length 190mm( 7.5 Inches).
  • PEOPLE WITH THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS SHOULD WEAR A MEDICAL ID JEWELRY:Alzheimer's,Autism/Special Needs Children,Blood Disorders,Blood Thinners,Diabetes,Dementia,Drug Allergies (i.e. Penicillin, morphine, sulfa),Emphysema/Breathing Disorders,Epilepsy/Seizures,Food Allergies,Hearing,vision, or mentally impaired,Heart Disease,Insect Allergies,Kidney Disease,Pulmonary Conditions,Sickle Cell Anemia,Surgery, transplant,cancer patients...
  • We offer engraving service,please click"Customize Now"select engraving font and fill in your engrave information then "add to cart",we will get your engrave info from your order,if you want change the engrave info after finish the payment,please contact us with your correct engrave info immediately,we will do our best to help you.
  • WE RECOMMEND YOU ENGRAVE:Medications that you are taking or are allergic to;Allergies: Including, but not limited to Drug, Food, & Insect allergies;ICE: (In case of emergency phone number) This allows a family member or friend to be contacted in case you are in an emergency;Your name, this helps first responders communicate with you in case of an emergenc
  • Come with a Medical ID Cards,Front and back availability for medical and emergency contact information,Carry in Your Wallet. In an emergency,when you might be unable to speak for yourself,a medical ID necklace speaks for you.
Bestseller No. 10
Robbie's Story - Epilepsy
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • David Barnes (Director) - Louise Lynch (Producer)
  • English (Playback Language)
  • English (Subtitle)

I get commissions for purchases made through links on this website. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.