The mitochondrial chaperonin Hsp60 is a ubiquitous molecule with multiple roles, constitutively expressed and inducible by oxidative stress. In the brain, Hsp60 is widely distributed and has been implicated in neurological disorders, including epilepsy. A role for mitochondria and oxidative stress has been proposed in epileptogenesis of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Here, we investigated the involvement of Hsp60 in TLE using animal and human samples. Hsp60 immunoreactivity in the hippocampus, measured by Western blotting and immunohistochemistry, was increased in a rat model of TLE. Hsp60 was also increased in the hippocampal dentate gyrus neurons somata and neuropil and hippocampus proper (CA3, CA1) of the epileptic rats. We also determined the circulating levels of Hsp60 in epileptic animals and TLE patients using ELISA. The epileptic rats showed circulating levels of Hsp60 higher than controls. Likewise, plasma post-seizure Hsp60 levels in patients were higher than before the seizure and those of controls. These results demonstrate that Hsp60 is increased in both animals and patients with TLE in affected tissues, and in plasma in response to epileptic seizures, and point to it as biomarker of hippocampal stress potentially useful for diagnosis and patient management.
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