Epilepsy is a highly prevalent and drug-refractory neurological disorder characterized by spontaneous recurrent seizures. Estrogen is identified to be proconvulsant and lowers the seizure threshold of female epilepsy. Estrogen receptor β (ERβ) has been proposed to mediate neuroprotection in epilepsy, although the underlying mechanism remains unknown. Rationale: In this study, we investigated the role of ERβ in the epileptogenesis of female temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Methods: Immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, western blots, Golgi staining, 1H MRS and whole-cell patch-clamp were used to evaluate ERβ expression, pathological changes, and synaptic excitation /inhibition (E/I) balance in female TLE patients and ovariectomized (OVX) chronic epileptic mice. Electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings were recorded to evaluate the epileptic susceptibility in OVX WT and ERβ-/- mice. And high-throughput RNA-sequence was performed to identify differential expression genes (DEGs) which can elucidate the potential mechanism of ERβ regulating the seizure susceptibility. Results: ERβ expression was decreased in the brains of female TLE patients and OVX chronic epileptic mice. ERβ deletion enhanced seizure susceptibility and exacerbated the imbalance of synaptic E/I in hippocampal CA1 area of OVX epileptic mice. In line with these observations, RNA-sequence data further identified glutamine ligase (GLUL) as the target of ERβ involved in regulating synaptic E/I in CA1. Furthermore, ERβ agonist WAY-200070 markedly suppressed epileptic phenotypes and normalized GLUL expression in CA1 region of kainic acid (KA) induced OVX chronic epileptic model. Conclusions: Our data provide novel insight into the pathogenesis of female TLE, and indicate ERβ provides a new therapeutic strategy for female TLE patients.
- Temporal lobe epilepsy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (miscellaneous)