Refractory neonatal seizures do not respond to first-line antiseizure medications like phenobarbital (PB), a positive allosteric modulator for GABAA receptors. GABAA receptor–mediated inhibition is dependent upon electroneutral cation-chloride transporter KCC2, which mediates neuronal chloride extrusion and its age-dependent increase and postnatally shifts GABAergic signaling from depolarizing to hyperpolarizing. Brain-derived neurotropic factor–tyrosine receptor kinase B activation (BDNF–TrkB activation) after excitotoxic injury recruits downstream targets like PLCγ1, leading to KCC2 hypofunction. Here, the antiseizure efficacy of TrkB agonists LM22A-4, HIOC, and deoxygedunin (DG) on PB-refractory seizures and postischemic TrkB pathway activation was investigated in a mouse model (CD-1, P7) of refractory neonatal seizures. LM, a BDNF loop II mimetic, rescued PB-refractory seizures in a sexually dimorphic manner. Efficacy was associated with a substantial reduction in the postischemic phosphorylation of TrkB at Y816, a site known to mediate postischemic KCC2 hypofunction via PLCγ1 activation. LM rescued ischemia-induced phospho–KCC2-S940 dephosphorylation, preserving its membrane stability. Full TrkB agonists HIOC and DG similarly rescued PB refractoriness. Chemogenetic inactivation of TrkB substantially reduced postischemic neonatal seizure burdens at P7. Sex differences identified in developmental expression profiles of TrkB and KCC2 may underlie the sexually dimorphic efficacy of LM. These results support a potentially novel role for the TrkB receptor in the emergence of age-dependent refractory neonatal seizures.
Pavel A. Kipnis, Brennan J. Sullivan, Brandon M. Carter, Shilpa D. Kadam
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were accepted. No appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at email@example.com.