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Brain immunity and epilepsy

Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is the most common form of epilepsy in adult humans. European scientists investigated the role of the brain immune cells in TLE to develop strategies that can amplify the self-healing mechanisms.
Brain immunity and epilepsy
TLE is generally triggered by an insult, which includes trauma, infection or stroke. Microglia represents the primary immune cells of the central nervous system. Microglia activation is observed directly after initial insult and during epileptogenesis in TLE animal models and in human patients.

Microglia activation correlates with the presence of the pro-inflammatory factors. However, recent data show that inflammation is a prerequisite to promote repair processes and that microglia might support cell survival and tissue repair.

The EU-funded MICROGLIA-EPILEPSY (Microglia phenotype in temporal lobe epilepsy) project aimed at better understanding of the role of microglia in TLE with the goal to identify new therapeutic targets. The main objective of the project was to compare the expression profiles of phenotype markers in microglia and macrophages during epileptogenesis and then identify the localisation of the most prominent markers.

Infiltration of peripheral immune cells such as macrophages during epileptogenesis might contribute to the development of chronic epilepsy and recurrent seizures. Understanding the role of these different inflammatory cells requires isolation and discrimination of microglia from macrophages.

Investigators found that microglia displayed a weak immune activation unlike infiltrated macrophages that had strong immune response. Both cell types expressed high levels of the phagocytosis markers. Overall, study findings indicate that macrophages might have a detrimental role during epileptogenesis.

Related information


Temporal lobe epilepsy, microglia, MICROGLIA-EPILEPSY, macrophages, immune response
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