|Authors||Liu, J., Dzurova, N., Al-Kaaby, B., Millks, K., Sisodiya, S.M. and Thom, M.|
Granule cell dispersion (GCD) is a common pathological feature observed in the hippocampus of patients with Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (MTLE). Pathomechanisms underlying GCD remain to be elucidated, but one hypothesis proposes aberrant reactivation of neurodevelopmental migratory pathways, possibly triggered by febrile seizures. This study aims to compare the proteomes of basal and dispersed granule cells in the hippocampus of eight MTLE patients with GCD to identify proteins that may mediate GCD in MTLE.
Quantitative proteomics identified 1882 proteins, of which 29% were found in basal granule cells only, 17% in dispersed only and 54% in both samples. Bioinformatics analyses revealed upregulated proteins in dispersed samples were involved in developmental cellular migratory processes, including cytoskeletal remodelling, axon guidance and signalling by Ras homologous (Rho) family of GTPases (P<0.01). The expression of two Rho GTPases, RhoA and Rac1, was subsequently explored in immunohistochemical and in situ hybridisation studies involving eighteen MTLE cases with or without GCD, and three normal post mortem cases. In cases with GCD, most dispersed granule cells in the outer-granular and molecular layers have an elongated soma and bipolar processes, with intense RhoA immunolabelling at opposite poles of the cell soma, while most granule cells in the basal granule cell layer were devoid of RhoA. A higher density and percentage of cells expressing RhoA was observed in cases with GCD than without GCD (P<0.004). In GCD cases, the density and percentage of cells expressing RhoA was significantly higher in the inner molecular layer than granule cell layer (P<0.026), supporting proteomic findings. In situ hybridisation studies using probes against RHOA and RAC1 mRNAs revealed fine peri- and nuclear puncta in granule cells of all cases. The density of cells expressing RHOA mRNAs were significantly higher in the inner molecular layer of cases with GCD than without GCD(P=0.05). In summary, our study has found limited evidence for ongoing adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus of patients with MTLE, but evidence of differential dysmaturation between dispersed and basal granule cells has been demonstrated, and elevated expression of Rho GTPases in dispersed granule cells may contribute to the pathomechanisms underpinning GCD in MTLE.