A variety of receptors may be involved in the pathogenesis of absence seizures. The c-Met receptors have a critical role in modulating the GABAergic interneurons and creating a balance between excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission, sensorimotor gating, and normal synaptic plasticity.
This study aimed to assess the changes of the c-Met receptor during the appearance of absence attacks in the experimental model of absence epilepsy.
A total of 48 animals were divided into four groups of two- and six-month-old WAG/Rij and Wistar rats. Epileptic WAG/Rij rats showing SWP in electrocorticogram (ECoG) were included in the epileptic group. The two-month-old WAG/Rij rats as well as two- and six-month-old Wistar rats not exhibiting SWP in ECoG were selected as the non-epileptic. Gene (RT-PCR) and protein expression (western blotting) of c-Met receptors as well as c-Met protein distribution (immunohistochemistry) in the somatosensory cortex and hippocampus were assessed during seizure development of the absence attacks.
According to the study findings, a lower c-Met gene and protein expression, as well as a lower protein distribution, were observed in the hippocampus (P < 0.001, P < 0.05, and P < 0.001, respectively) and cortex (P < 0.01, P < 0.001 and P < 0.001, respectively) of the two-month-old WAG/Rij rats compared to the same-age Wistar rats. Moreover, the data revealed a reduction of hippocampal and cortical c-Met protein expression (P < 0.001, for both) in six-month-old WAG/Rij rats compared to two-month-old ones. Six-month-old WAG/Rij rats had a lower cortical c-Met gene (P < 0.05) and protein expression (P < 0.001) as well as lower hippocampal and cortical protein distribution (P < 0.05 and P < 0.001) than the same-age Wistar rats.
In sum, the c-Met receptor was found to play a significant role in the development of absence epilepsy. This receptor, therefore, may have been considered as an effective goal for absence seizure inhibition.
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