Upregulation of Neuronal Adenosine A1 Receptor in Human Rasmussen Encephalitis


Guoming Luan, Xiongfei Wang, Qing Gao, Yuguang Guan, Jing Wang, Jiahui Deng, Feng Zhai, Yin Chen, Tianfu Li


Rasmussen encephalitis (RE) is a rare neurological disorder characterized by unilateral inflammation of cerebral cortex and other structures, most notably the hippocampus, progressive cognitive deterioration, and pharmacoresistant focal epilepsy. The pathogenesis of RE with unilateral cortical atrophy and focal seizures is still enigmatic. Activation of adenosine A1 receptors (A1R) has been proven to prevent the spatial spread of seizures. We hypothesized that the epileptogenic mechanisms underlying RE are related to changes in neuronal A1R expression. Immunnohistochemistry was used to examine the expression of A1R and adenosine kinase (ADK) in cortical specimens from RE (n = 12), and compared with control cortical tissue. The quantification of A1R and ADK expression was evaluated by Western blot. A1R was predominantly localized in perinuclear of neurons and not in astrocytes or microglia. Upregulation of neuronal A1R was observed in the lesions of RE. Reactive astrocytes and subpopulation of remaining neurons demonstrated over-expression of the ADK within the lesions of RE. Significant increase of A1R and ADK expression in RE compared with controls was confirmed by Western blot. These results suggest that over-expression of ADK is a common pathologic hallmark of RE, and that upregulation of neuronal A1R in RE is crucial in preventing the spread of seizures.