NYMC Faculty Publications

Developmental Decrease in Parvalbumin-Positive Neurons Precedes Increase in Flurothyl-Induced Seizure Susceptibility in the Brd2

Journal Title


First Page


Last Page


Document Type


Publication Date



Cell Biology and Anatomy


OBJECTIVE: BRD2 is a human gene repeatedly linked to and associated with juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME). Here, we define the developmental stage when increased seizure susceptibility first manifests in heterozygous Brd2+/- mice, an animal model of JME. We wanted to determine (1) whether seizure susceptibility correlates with the proven decrease of γ-aminobutyric acidergic (GABAergic) neuron numbers and (2) whether the seizure phenotype can be affected by sex hormones.

METHODS: Heterozygous (Brd2+/-) and wild-type (wt) mice of both sexes were tested for flurothyl-induced seizure susceptibility at postnatal day 15 (P15; wt, n = 13; Brd2+/-, n = 20), at P30 (wt, n = 20; Brd2+/-, n = 20), and in adulthood (5-6 months of age; wt, n = 10; Brd2+/-, n = 12). We measured latency to clonic and tonic-clonic seizure onset (flurothyl threshold). We also compared relative density of parvalbumin-positive (PVA+) and GAD67+ GABA neurons in the striatum and primary motor (M1) neocortex of P15 (n = 6-13 mice per subgroup) and P30 (n = 7-10 mice per subgroup) mice. Additional neonatal Brd2+/- mice were injected with testosterone propionate (females) or formestane (males) and challenged with flurothyl at P30.

RESULTS: P15 Brd2+/- mice showed no difference in seizure susceptibility compared to P15 wt mice. However, even at this early age, Brd2+/- mice showed fewer PVA+ neurons in the striatum and M1 neocortex. Compared to wt, the striatum in Brd2+/- mice showed an increased proportion of immature PVA+ neurons, with smaller cell bodies and limited dendritic arborization. P30 Brd2+/- mice displayed increased susceptibility to flurothyl-induced clonic seizures compared to wt. Both genotype and sex strongly influenced the density of PVA+ neurons in the striatum. Susceptibility to clonic seizures remained increased in adult Brd2+/- mice, and additionally there was increased susceptibility to tonic-clonic seizures. In P30 females, neonatal testosterone reduced the number of flurothyl-induced clonic seizures.

SIGNIFICANCE: A decrease in striatal PVA+ GABAergic neurons developmentally precedes the onset of increased seizure susceptibility and likely contributes to the expression of the syndrome.

This document is currently not available here.