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Morphological alterations of the neuronal Golgi Apparatus upon seizures.

AIMS: Epilepsy is one of the most common chronic neurological disorders, affecting around 50 million people worldwide, but its underlying cellular and molecular events are not fully understood. The Golgi is a highly dynamic cellular organelle and can be fragmented into ministacks under both physiological and pathological conditions. This phenomenon has also been observed in several neurodegenerative disorders, however, the structure of the Golgi apparatus (GA) in human patients suffering from epilepsy has not been described so far. The aim of this study was to assess the changes in GA architecture in epilepsy.

METHODS: Golgi visualization with immunohistochemical staining in the neocortex of adult patients who underwent epilepsy surgery; 3D reconstruction and quantitative morphometric analysis of GA structure in the rat hippocampi upon kainic acid (KA) induced seizures, as well as in vitro studies with the use of Ca2+ chelator BAPTA-AM in primary hippocampal neurons upon activation were performed.

RESULTS: We observed GA dispersion in neurons of the human neocortex of patients with epilepsy, and hippocampal neurons in rats upon KA-induced seizures. The structural changes of GA were reversible, as GA morphology returned to normal within 24 hours of KA treatment. KA-induced Golgi fragmentation observed in primary hippocampal neurons cultured in vitro was largely abolished by the addition of BAPTA-AM.

CONCLUSIONS: In our study, we have shown for the first time, that the neuronal Golgi apparatus is fragmented in the human brain of patients with epilepsy and rat brain upon seizures. We have shown that seizure-induced GA dispersion can be reversible, suggesting that enhanced neuronal activity induces Golgi reorganization that is involved in aberrant neuronal plasticity processes that underlie epilepsy. Moreover, our results revealed that elevated cytosolic Ca2+ is indispensable for these KA-induced morphological alterations of GA in vitro.

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