The immunoproteasome β5i subunit is a key contributor to ictogenesis in a rat model of chronic epilepsy

Michele Mishto, Muhammad L. Raza, Dario de Biase, Teresa Ravizza, Francesco Vasuri, Morena Martucci, Christin Keller, Elena Bellavista, Tonia J. Buchholz, Peter M. Kloetzel, Annalisa Pession, Annamaria Vezzani, Uwe Heinemann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The proteasome is the core of the ubiquitin-proteasome system and is involved in synaptic protein metabolism. The incorporation of three inducible immuno-subunits into the proteasome results in the generation of the so-called immunoproteasome, which is endowed of pathophysiological functions related to immunity and inflammation. In healthy human brain, the expression of the key catalytic β5i subunit of the immunoproteasome is almost absent, while it is induced in the epileptogenic foci surgically resected from patients with pharmaco-resistant seizures, including temporal lobe epilepsy.We show here that the β5i immuno-subunit is induced in experimental epilepsy, and its selective pharmacological inhibition significantly prevents, or delays, 4-aminopyridine-induced seizure-like events in acute rat hippocampal/entorhinal cortex slices. These effects are stronger in slices from epileptic vs normal rats, likely due to the more prominent β5i subunit expression in neurons and glia cells of diseased tissue. β5i subunit is transcriptionally induced in epileptogenic tissue likely by Toll-like receptor 4 signaling activation, and independently on promoter methylation.The recent availability of selective β5i subunit inhibitors opens up novel therapeutic opportunities for seizure inhibition in drug-resistant epilepsies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-196
Number of pages9
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2015


  • Neuroinflammation
  • Pharmaco-resistant seizures
  • Pilocarpine
  • Proteasome inhibitors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems


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