Distinct allelic variants of TSC1 and TSC2 in epilepsy-associated cortical malformations without balloon cells

Michael Majores, Ingmar Blümcke, Horst Urbach, Alessandra Meroni, Volkmar Hans, Hans Holthausen, Christian E. Elger, Johannes Schramm, Carlo Galli, Roberto Spreafico, Otmar D. Wiestler, Albert J. Becker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Epilepsy-associated malformations of cortical development (MCDs) comprise a variety of dysplastic and neoplastic lesions of yet undetermined molecular pathology. Histopathologic similarities between MCDs and dysplastic brain lesions in the autosomal inherited neurocutaneous phacomatosis tuberous sclerosis (TSC), which affects the TSC1 and/or TSC2 genes, suggest common pathogenetic mechanisms. Previous studies revealed different alterations of TSC1 and TSC2 in epilepsy-associated malformations and glio-neuronal tumors despite histopathologic similarities. In order to examine current clinico-pathologic classification systems of cortical malformations on the molecular level, we carried out a mutational analysis of TSC1 and TSC2 in a series of surgical specimens obtained from patients with FCD without Taylor type balloon cells (FCDIIa; n = 20), architectural dysplasias (FCDI; n = 15), nodular cortical heterotopias (NCH; n = 4), and heterotopic white matter neurons (WMNH; n = 19). In FCDIIa, abundant genomic polymorphisms were detected in TSC2 (intron 4) but no allelic variants observed in exon 17 of TSC1. This allelic distribution pattern is in contrast to findings in FCD I and WMNH but also to those previously reported in FCDIIb (Taylor's balloon cell type). The latter revealed increased frequencies of specific alleles only in TSC1. The determination of characteristic molecular genetic alterations in specific epilepsy-associated malformations will support a comprehensive clinico-pathologic classification system and help to identify molecular pathways with potential pathogenetic relevance. Our work is supported by DFG (SFB TR3 [AJB], DFG B1 421/1-1 [IB]), BONFOR, and Deutsche Krebshilfe.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-637
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005


  • Epilepsy
  • Focal cortical dysplasia
  • Glio-neuronal lesion
  • Neoplastic transformation
  • Tuberous sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Neuroscience(all)

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