CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · International Journal of Epilepsy 2017; 04(01): 036-045
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijep.2016.12.005
Research paper
Thieme Medical and Scientific Publishers Private Ltd.

Early-life status epilepticus induces long-term deficits in anxiety and spatial learning in mice

Gregory Smith
a   Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Baylor University, Waco, TX 76798, USA
Nowrin Ahmed
b   Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Baylor University, Waco, TX 76798, USA
Erin Arbuckle
a   Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Baylor University, Waco, TX 76798, USA
Joaquin N. Lugo
a   Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Baylor University, Waco, TX 76798, USA
b   Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Baylor University, Waco, TX 76798, USA
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Received: 01 August 2016

Accepted: 19 December 2016

Publication Date:
06 May 2018 (online)


Background One of the most devastating aspects of developmental epilepsy is the long-term impact on behavior. Children with epilepsy show a high co-morbidity with anxiety disorders and autism.

Methods To examine whether early-life status epilepticus results in altered anxiety, repetitive behavior, social behavior, and learning and memory, we induced status epilepticus in male C57BL/6 mice on postnatal day (PD) 10. The mice received intraperitoneal injections of either kainic acid (2 mg/kg) or 0.9% normal saline. We also included a nontreated control group. Kainic acid induced status epilepticus for approximately 1.5 h. At PD60, the adult mice were then tested in a battery of behavioral tasks, including open field activity, elevated-plus maze, light-dark test, marble burying, social chamber, social partition, conditioned fear, novel object recognition, and Morris water maze.

Results The early-life seizure group showed consistent increases in anxiety in the open field test (p < 0.05), elevated plus maze (p < 0.05), and light-dark task (p < 0.01). The seizure group showed significant (p < 0.01) impairment in the Morris water maze. There were no differences observed in marble burying, social partition, social chamber, novel object recognition, or delay fear conditioning tasks.

Conclusions These results demonstrate that a single insult of status epilepticus during the neonatal period is sufficient to cause specific, long-term impairments in anxiety and spatial learning.

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