The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

The Chemokine CCL2 Mediates the Seizure-enhancing Effects of Systemic Inflammation.

PMID 27030762


Epilepsy is a chronic disorder characterized by spontaneous recurrent seizures. Brain inflammation is increasingly recognized as a critical factor for seizure precipitation, but the molecular mediators of such proconvulsant effects are only partly understood. The chemokine CCL2 is one of the most elevated inflammatory mediators in patients with pharmacoresistent epilepsy, but its contribution to seizure generation remains unexplored. Here, we show, for the first time, a crucial role for CCL2 and its receptor CCR2 in seizure control. We imposed a systemic inflammatory challenge via lipopolysaccharide (LPS) administration in mice with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. We found that LPS dramatically increased seizure frequency and upregulated the expression of many inflammatory proteins, including CCL2. To test the proconvulsant role of CCL2, we administered systemically either a CCL2 transcription inhibitor (bindarit) or a selective antagonist of the CCR2 receptor (RS102895). We found that interference with CCL2 signaling potently suppressed LPS-induced seizures. Intracerebral administration of anti-CCL2 antibodies also abrogated LPS-mediated seizure enhancement in chronically epileptic animals. Our results reveal that CCL2 is a key mediator in the molecular pathways that link peripheral inflammation with neuronal hyperexcitability. Substantial evidence points to a role for inflammation in epilepsy, but currently there is little insight as to how inflammatory pathways impact on seizure generation. Here, we examine the molecular mediators linking peripheral inflammation with seizure susceptibility in mice with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. We show that a systemic inflammatory challenge via lipopolysaccharide administration potently enhances seizure frequency and upregulates the expression of the chemokine CCL2. Remarkably, selective pharmacological interference with CCL2 or its receptor CCR2 suppresses lipopolysaccharide-induced seizure enhancement. Thus, CCL2/CCR2 signaling plays a key role in linking systemic inflammation with seizure susceptibility.

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