Inferior Colliculus Transcriptome After Status Epilepticus in the Genetically Audiogenic Seizure-Prone Hamster GASH/Sal

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The Genetic Audiogenic Seizure Hamster from Salamanca (GASH/Sal), an animal model of reflex epilepsy, exhibits generalized tonic–clonic seizures in response to loud sound with the epileptogenic focus localized in the inferior colliculus (IC). Ictal events in seizure-prone strains cause gene deregulation in the epileptogenic focus, which can provide insights into the epileptogenic mechanisms. Thus, the present study aimed to determine the expression profile of key genes in the IC of the GASH/Sal after the status epilepticus. For such purpose, we used RNA-Seq to perform a comparative study between the IC transcriptome of GASH/Sal and that of control hamsters both subjected to loud sound stimulation. After filtering for normalization and gene selection, a total of 36 genes were declared differentially expressed from the RNA-seq analysis in the IC. A set of differentially expressed genes were validated by RT-qPCR showing significant differentially expression between GASH/Sal hamsters and Syrian control hamsters. The confirmed differentially expressed genes were classified on ontological categories associated with epileptogenic events similar to those produced by generalized tonic seizures in humans. Subsequently, based on the result of metabolomics, we found the interleukin-4 and 13-signaling, and nucleoside transport as presumably altered routes in the GASH/Sal model. This research suggests that seizures in GASH/Sal hamsters are generated by multiple molecular substrates, which activate biological processes, molecular processes, cellular components and metabolic pathways associated with epileptogenic events similar to those produced by tonic seizures in humans. Therefore, our study supports the use of the GASH/Sal as a valuable animal model for epilepsy research, toward establishing correlations with human epilepsy and searching new biomarkers of epileptogenesis.

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