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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Levetiracetam Protects Against Cognitive Impairment of Subthreshold Convulsant Discharge Model Rats by Activating Protein Kinase C (PKC)-Growth-Associated Protein 43 (GAP-43)-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase (CaMK) Signal Transduction Pathway

Min-Jian Wang, Li Jiang, Heng-Sheng Chen, Li Cheng

Department of Psychology, Children’s Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2019; 25:4627-4638

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.913542

Available online: 2019-06-22

Published: 2019-06-22


BACKGROUND: Subclinical epileptiform discharges (SEDs) are defined as epileptiform electroencephalographic (EEG) discharges without clinical signs of seizure in patients. The subthreshold convulsant discharge (SCD) is a frequently used model for SEDs. This study aimed to investigate the effect of levetiracetam (LEV), an anti-convulsant drug, on cognitive impairment of SCD model rats and to assess the associated mechanisms.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A SCD rat model was established. Rats were divided into an SCD group, an SCD+ sodium valproate (VPA) group, and an SCD+ levetiracetam (LEV) group. The Morris water maze was used to evaluate the capacity of positioning navigation and space exploration. The field excitatory post-synaptic potentials (fEPSPs) were evaluated using a bipolar stimulation electrode. NCAM, GAP43, PS95, and CaMK II levels were detected using Western blot and RT-PCR, respectively. PKC activity was examined by a non-radioactive method.
RESULTS: LEV shortens the latency of platform seeking in SCD rats in positioning navigation. fEPSP slopes were significantly lower in the SCD group, and LEV treatment significantly enhanced the fEPSP slopes compared to the SCD group (P<0.05). The NCAM and GAP-43 levels were increased and PSD-95 levels were increased in SCD rats (P<0.05), which were improved by LEV treatment. The PKC activity and CaMK II levels were decreased in SCD rats and LEV treatment significantly enhanced PKC activity and increased CaMK II levels.
CONCLUSIONS: Cognitive impairment in of SCD model rats may be caused by decreased PKC activity, low expression of CaMK II, and inhibition of LTP formation. LEV can improve cognitive function by activating the PKC-GAP-43-CaMK signal transduction pathway.

Keywords: Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type 1, Cognition, Convulsants