Neuroglobin deficiency increases seizure susceptibility but does not affect basal behavior in mice

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Neuroglobin (Ngb) is found in the neurones of several different brain areas and is known to bind oxygen and other gaseous molecules and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in vitro, but it does not seem to act as a respiratory molecule for neurones. Using male and female Ngb-knockout (KO) mice, we addressed the role of Ngb in neuronal brain activity using behavioral tests but found no differences in general behaviors, memory processes, and anxiety-/depression-like behaviors. Oxidative stress and ROS play key roles in epileptogenesis, and oxidative injury produced by an excessive production of free radicals is involved in the initiation and progression of epilepsy. The ROS binding properties led us to hypothesize that lack of Ngb could affect central coping with excitatory stimuli. We consequently explored whether exposure to the excitatory molecule kainate (KA) would increase severity of seizures in mice lacking Ngb. We found that the duration and severity of seizures were increased, while the latency time to develop seizures was shortened in Ngb-KO compared to wildtype adult female mice. Consistently, c-fos expression after KA was significantly increased in Ngb-KO mice in the amygdala and piriform cortex, regions rich in Ngb and known to be centrally involved in seizure generation. Moreover, the measured c-fos expression levels were correlated with seizure susceptibility. With these new findings combined with previous studies we propose that Ngb could constitute an intrinsic defense mechanism against neuronal hyperexcitability and oxidative stress by buffering of ROS in amygdala and other Ngb-containing brain regions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Research
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1921-1932
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2022

    Research areas

  • behavior, c-fos, cognition, kainate, kainic acid, neuroglobin, oxidative stress, reactive oxygen species, RRID, AB_2106765, SCR_002798, SCR_008673, SCR_008988, SCR_000441, seizures, NEUROPEPTIDE-Y, C-FOS, OXIDATIVE STRESS, DENTATE GYRUS, TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR, SEX-DIFFERENCES, KAINIC ACID, EXPRESSION, RECEPTOR, NEURONS

ID: 314274979