mTOR-Related Cell-Clearing Systems in Epileptic Seizures, an Update

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Recent evidence suggests that autophagy impairment is implicated in the epileptogenic mechanisms downstream of mTOR hyperactivation. This holds true for a variety of genetic and acquired epileptic syndromes besides malformations of cortical development which are classically known as mTORopathies. Autophagy suppression is sufficient to induce epilepsy in experimental models, while rescuing autophagy prevents epileptogenesis, improves behavioral alterations, and provides neuroprotection in seizure-induced neuronal damage. The implication of autophagy in epileptogenesis and maturation phenomena related to seizure activity is supported by evidence indicating that autophagy is involved in the molecular mechanisms which are implicated in epilepsy. In general, mTOR-dependent autophagy regulates the proliferation and migration of inter-/neuronal cortical progenitors, synapse development, vesicular release, synaptic plasticity, and importantly, synaptic clustering of GABAA receptors and subsequent excitatory/inhibitory balance in the brain. Similar to autophagy, the ubiquitin-proteasome system is regulated downstream of mTOR, and it is implicated in epileptogenesis. Thus, mTOR-dependent cell-clearing systems are now taking center stage in the field of epilepsy. In the present review, we discuss such evidence in a variety of seizure-related disorders and models. This is expected to provide a deeper insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying seizure activity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Feb 28 2020


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