, Volume 35, Issue 1-3, pp 23-37

Temporal profile of connexin 43 mRNA expression in a tetanus toxin-induced seizure disorder

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The messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) of gap junction protein connexin 43 was quantified in the tetanus toxin rat model of focal epilepsy following injection of toxin into the left amygdala. Animals were monitored electrographically at weekly intervals with bilateral amygdala electrodes. Cohorts of 3 rats were sacrificed at weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, and 10, and bilateral regions containing the amygdala and posterior cerebral cortex were sampled, frozen, and later pooled for northern blot analysis. Spike generation was manifest in all animals during the first 4 wk followed by variable attenuation and cessation by 10 wk. Electrode implantation alone was shown by regression analysis to cause significant (p<0.05) elevation of connexin mRNA in weeks 1–4. Injection of toxin diminished connexin mRNA expression in the amygdala when compared to electrode implantation alone. No trend in connexin mRNA expression was established over time in either amygdala or cerebral cortex in the acute epileptic or chronic postepileptic phase.

No association between connexin 43 mRNA expression and the development of epileptogenicity was found in the context of a selflimiting animal model of focal epilepsy.