Innovator Award

Conversion Of Reactive Glia Into Neurons In Mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy: A New Way To Generate GABAergic Interneurons And Reduce Seizure Activity?

Antoine Depaulis, PhD - Christophe Heinrich, PhD
Grenoble Institute of Neuroscience, INSERM

Mesio-Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (MTLE), the most common form of intractable epilepsies, is associated with loss of inhibitory neurons and proliferation of glial cells, both of which have been suggested to play a critical role in epilepsy development. Therefore a procedure to re-introduce new inhibitory neurons and limit glial proliferation within hippocampal networks represents an innovative strategy to reduce seizures. Reprogramming one cell type into another represents a novel strategy for brain repair. We previously showed that glial cells from the cortex can be reprogrammed into inhibitory neurons. Our project aims at reducing seizures in a MTLE mouse model through forced reprogramming of hippocampal glial cells into functional inhibitory neurons. If successful, glia-to-neuron conversion could prevent epilepsy development and/or attenuate seizures in the chronic phase of the disease. Thus this proof-of-concept approach could create a new avenue for innovative anti-epileptogenic strategies for MTLE patients.

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