PubMed 19203854

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Nav1.1

Title: Molecular basis of severe myoclonic epilepsy in infancy.

Authors: Kazuhiro Yamakawa

Journal, date & volume: Brain Dev., 2009 May , 31, 401-4

PubMed link:

Severe myoclonic epilepsy (SMEI) or Dravet syndrome is caused by mutations of the SCN1A gene that encodes voltage-gated sodium channel alpha-1 subunit. Recently, we generated and characterized a knock-in (KI) mice with an SCN1A nonsense mutation that appeared in three independent SMEI patients. The SCN1A-KI mice well reproduced the SMEI disease phenotypes. Both homozygous and heterozygous knock-in mice developed epileptic seizures within the first postnatal month. In heterozygous knock-in mice, trains of evoked action potentials in inhibitory neurons exhibited pronounced spike amplitude decrement late in the burst but not in pyramidal neurons. We further showed that in wild-type mice the Nav1.1 protein is expressed dominantly in axons and moderately in somata of parbalbumin (PV) - positive inhibitory interneurons. Our immunohistochemical observations of the Nav1.1 are clearly distinct to the previous studies, and our findings has corrected the view of the Nav1.1 protein distribution. The data indicate that Nav1.1 plays critical roles in the spike output from PV interneurons and further, that the specifically altered function of these inhibitory circuits may contribute to epileptic seizures in the mice. These information should contribute to the understanding of molecular pathomechanism of SMEI and to develop its effective therapies.