Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 187, Issue 1, pp 100–106 | Cite as

Alterations in the Neurobehavioral Phenotype and ZnT3/CB-D28k Expression in the Cerebral Cortex Following Lithium-Pilocarpine-Induced Status Epilepticus: the Ameliorative Effect of Leptin

  • Hong NiEmail author
  • Su-hong Chen
  • Li-li Li
  • Mei-fang Jin


Zinc transporter 3 (ZnT3)-dependent “zincergic” vesicular zinc accounts for approximately 20% of the total zinc content of the mammalian telencephalon. Elevated hippocampal ZnT3 expression is acknowledged to be associated with mossy fiber sprouting and cognitive deficits. However, no studies have compared the long-term neurobehavioral phenotype with the expression of ZnT3 in the cerebral cortex following status epilepticus (SE). The aim of this study was to investigate changes in the long-term neurobehavioral phenotype as well as the expression of ZnT3 and calcium homeostasis-related CB-D28k in the cerebral cortex of rats subjected to neonatal SE and to determine the effects of leptin treatment immediately after neonatal SE. Fifty Sprague-Dawley rats (postnatal day 6, P6) were randomly assigned to two groups: the pilocarpine hydrochloride-induced status epilepticus group (RS, n = 30) and control group (n = 20). Rats were further divided into the control group without leptin (Control), control-plus-leptin treatment group (Leptin), RS group without leptin treatment (RS), and RS-plus-leptin treatment group (RS + Leptin). On P6, all rats in the RS group and RS + Leptin group were injected intraperitoneally (i.p.) with lithium chloride (5 mEq/kg). Pilocarpine (320 mg/kg, i.p.) was administered 30 min after the scopolamine methyl chloride (1 mg/kg) injection on P7. From P8 to P14, animals of the Leptin group and RS + Leptin group were given leptin (4 mg/kg/day, i.p.). The neurological behavioral parameters (negative geotaxis reaction reflex, righting reflex, cliff avoidance reflex, forelimb suspension reflex, and open field test) were observed from P23 to P30. The protein levels of ZnT3 and CB-D28k in the cerebral cortex were detected subsequently by the western blot method. Pilocarpine-treated neonatal rats showed long-term abnormal neurobehavioral parameters. In parallel, there was a significantly downregulated protein level of CB-D28k and upregulated protein level of ZnT3 in the cerebral cortex of the RS group. Leptin treatment soon after epilepticus for 7 consecutive days counteracted these abnormal changes. Taken together with the results from our previous reports on another neonatal seizure model, which showed a significant positive inter-relationship between ZnT3 and calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IIα (CaMKIIα), the data here suggest that ZnT3/CB-D28k–associated Zn (2+)/Ca(2+) signaling might be involved in neonatal SE-induced long-term brain damage in the aspects of neurobehavioral impairment. Moreover, consecutive leptin treatment is effect at counteracting these hyperexcitability-related changes, suggesting a potential clinical significance.


Leptin Zinc transporter3 CB-D28k Neurobehavior Status epilepticus 


Funding Information

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81471337, 81271458), Jiangsu Province’s key medical personnel project (ZDRCC2016008).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Neurology Laboratory, Institute of Pediatric ResearchChildren’s Hospital of Soochow UniversitySuzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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