PubMed 26647175

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Nav1 , Nav1.6

Title: Secondary neurotransmitter deficiencies in epilepsy caused by voltage-gated sodium channelopathies: A potential treatment target?

Authors: Gabriella A Horvath, Michelle Demos, Casper Shyr, Allison Matthews, Linhua Zhang, Simone Race, Sylvia Stöckler-Ipsiroglu, Margot I Van Allen, Ogan Mancarci, Lilah Toker, Paul Pavlidis, Colin J Ross, Wyeth W Wasserman, Natalie Trump, Simon Heales, Simon Pope, J Helen Cross, Clara D M van Karnebeek

Journal, date & volume: Mol. Genet. Metab., 2016 Jan , 117, 42-8

PubMed link:

We describe neurotransmitter abnormalities in two patients with drug-resistant epilepsy resulting from deleterious de novo mutations in sodium channel genes. Whole exome sequencing identified a de novo SCN2A splice-site mutation (c.2379+1G>A, p.Glu717Gly.fs*30) resulting in deletion of exon 14, in a 10-year old male with early onset global developmental delay, intermittent ataxia, autism, hypotonia, epileptic encephalopathy and cerebral/cerebellar atrophy. In the cerebrospinal fluid both homovanillic acid and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid were significantly decreased; extensive biochemical and genetic investigations ruled out primary neurotransmitter deficiencies and other known inborn errors of metabolism. In an 8-year old female with an early onset intractable epileptic encephalopathy, developmental regression, and progressive cerebellar atrophy, a previously unreported de novo missense mutation was identified in SCN8A (c.5615G>A; p.Arg1872Gln), affecting a highly conserved residue located in the C-terminal of the Nav1.6 protein. Aside from decreased homovanillic acid and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid, 5-methyltetrahydrofolate was also found to be low. We hypothesize that these channelopathies cause abnormal synaptic mono-amine metabolite secretion/uptake via impaired vesicular release and imbalance in electrochemical ion gradients, which in turn aggravate the seizures. Treatment with oral 5-hydroxytryptophan, l-Dopa/Carbidopa, and a dopa agonist resulted in mild improvement of seizure control in the male case, most likely via dopamine and serotonin receptor activated signal transduction and modulation of glutamatergic, GABA-ergic and glycinergic neurotransmission. Neurotransmitter analysis in other sodium channelopathy patients will help validate our findings, potentially yielding novel treatment opportunities.