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Type: Journal article
Title: Early 17β-estradiol treatment reduces seizures but not abnormal behaviour in mice with expanded polyalanine tracts in the Aristaless related homeobox gene (ARX)
Other Titles: Early 17beta-estradiol treatment reduces seizures but not abnormal behaviour in mice with expanded polyalanine tracts in the Aristaless related homeobox gene (ARX)
Author: Loring, K.E.
Mattiske, T.
Lee, K.
Zysk, A.
Jackson, M.R.
Noebels, J.L.
Shoubridge, C.
Citation: Neurobiology of Disease, 2021; 153:1-13
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 2021
ISSN: 0969-9961
Statement of
Karagh E. Loring, Tessa Mattiske, Kristie Lee, Aneta Zysk, Matilda R. Jackson, Jeffrey L.Noebels, Cheryl Shoubridge
Abstract: Children with severe intellectual disability have an increased prevalence of refractory seizures. Steroid treatment may improve seizure outcomes, but the mechanism remains unknown. Here we demonstrate that short term, daily delivery of an exogenous steroid 17β-estradiol (40 ng/g) in early postnatal life significantly reduced the number and severity of seizures, but did not improve behavioural deficits, in mice modelling mutations in the Aristaless-related homeobox gene (ARX), expanding the first (PA1) or second (PA2) polyalanine tract. Frequency of observed seizures on handling (n = 14/treatment/genotype) were significantly reduced in PA1 (32% reduction) and more modestly reduced in PA2 mice (14% reduction) with steroid treatment compared to vehicle. Spontaneous seizures were assessed (n = 7/treatment/genotype) at 7 weeks of age coinciding with a peak of seizure activity in untreated mice. PA1 mice treated with steroids no longer present with the most severe category of prolonged myoclonic seizures. Treated PA2 mice had an earlier onset of seizures coupled with a subsequent reduction in seizures later in postnatal life, with a complete absence of any seizures during the analysis at 7 weeks of age. Despite the reduction in seizures, 17β-estradiol treated mice showed no improvement in behavioural or cognitive outcomes in adulthood. For the first time we show that these deficits due to mutations in Arx are already present before seizure onset and do not worsen with seizures. ARX is a transcription factor and Arx PA mutant mice have deregulated transcriptome profiles in the developing embryonic brain. At postnatal day 10, treatment completion, RNAseq identified 129 genes significantly deregulated (Log2FC > ± 0.5, P-value<0.05) in the frontal cortex of mutant compared to wild-type mice. This list reflects genes deregulated in disease and was particularly enriched for known genes in neurodevelopmental disorders and those involved in signalling and developmental pathways. 17β-estradiol treatment of mutant mice significantly deregulated 295 genes, with only 23 deregulated genes overlapping between vehicle and steroid treated mutant mice. We conclude that 17β-estradiol treatment recruits processes and pathways to reduce the frequency and severity of seizures in the Arx PA mutant mice but does not precisely correct the deregulated transcriptome nor improve mortality or behavioural and cognitive deficits.
Keywords: Childhood epilepsy; genetics: epilepsy; genetics: learning disability; epilepsy: co-morbidity; molecular genetics; transcriptomics
Rights: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc.
DOI: 10.1016/j.nbd.2021.105329
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