Catamenial‐like seizure exacerbation in mice with targeted ablation of extrasynaptic δGABA‐a receptors in the brain Academic Article uri icon


  • Neurosteroids play a key role in catamenial epilepsy, a menstrual cycle-related seizure clustering in women with epilepsy. While neurosteroids act on all GABA-A receptor isoforms, they cause greater effects on extrasynaptic δGABA-A receptors that mediate tonic inhibition in the brain. Previously, we identified a potential GABA-A receptor mechanism for catamenial epilepsy. However, the precise functional role of extrasynaptic δGABA-A receptors in the pathophysiology of catamenial epilepsy remains unclear. In this study, we utilized mice lacking extrasynaptic δGABA-A receptors (δKO) to investigate whether reduction of tonic inhibition affects catamenial seizure susceptibility or intensity. Intact female wildtype (WT) and δKO mice were subjected to hippocampus kindling until they exhibited stage 5 seizures. Elevated gonadal hormone-based neurosteroid levels were induced by standard gonadotropin regimen and neurosteroid withdrawal (NSW) was triggered by finasteride. NSW increased susceptibility to, as well the intensity of evoked catamenial-like seizures in WT and δKO mice. However, fully kindled δKO mice exhibited an accelerated and augmented response to NSW, with a more rapid increase in seizure susceptibility and intensity than WT mice undergoing the NSW paradigm. Moreover, δKO mice in NSW showed reduced benzodiazepine sensitivity, but in stark contrast to the increased neurosteroid sensitivity observed in WT animals, δKO mice displayed no change in neurosteroid sensitivity in response to NSW. The increased catamenial seizure exacerbation and alterations in antiseizure drug responses are consistent with NSW-induced changes in the abundance of δGABA-A receptors. Collectively, these findings provide evidence of a potential protective role for extrasynaptic δGABA-A receptors in catamenial-like seizures. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

altmetric score

  • 15.35

author list (cited authors)

  • Clossen, B. L., & Reddy, D. S.

citation count

  • 6

publication date

  • February 2017