An international team of scientists together with the University of Bonn Hospital have taken a new path in the research into causes of epilepsy: The researchers determined the networks of the active genes and, like a dragnet, looked for the “main perpetrators” using a computer model. In doing so, they discovered the molecule sestrin-3 as a central switch. In animal models, the scientists were able to demonstrate that inhibition of sestrin-3 leads to a reduction in seizures. The results are now being presented in the renowned journal Nature Communications.
This is a surgical specimen of an antiepileptic-resistant patient with temporal lobe epilepsy, which represents a unique access to the human brain tissue (upper left). Nerve cells, visible as blue dots, significantly contribute to the development of epileptic seizures. In the lower right-hand part of the image, cells marked in yellow are seen completely filled with sestrin-3.
Credit:Arbeitsgruppe Albert Becker/UKB
Publication: Systems genetics identifies ?Sestrin 3 as a regulator of a proconvulsant gene network in human epileptic hippocampus, Nature Communications, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms7031