Mutations in the voltage-gated sodium channel SCN1A are responsible for a number of seizure disorders including Generalized Epilepsy with Febrile Seizures Plus (GEFS+) and Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy of Infancy (SMEI). To determine the effects of SCN1A mutations on channel function in vivo, we generated a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) transgenic mouse model that expresses the human SCN1A GEFS+ mutation, R1648H. Mice with the R1648H mutation exhibit a more severe response to the proconvulsant kainic acid compared with mice expressing a control Scn1a transgene. Electrophysiological analysis of dissociated neurons from mice with the R1648H mutation reveal delayed recovery from inactivation and increased use-dependent inactivation only in inhibitory bipolar neurons, as well as a hyperpolarizing shift in the voltage dependence of inactivation only in excitatory pyramidal neurons. These results demonstrate that the effects of SCN1A mutations are cell type-dependent and that the R1648H mutation specifically leads to a reduction in interneuron excitability.
- Sodium channel
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