Neonatal seizures can lead to later life epilepsy and neurobehavioral deficits, and there are no treatments to prevent these sequelae. We showed previously that hypoxia-induced seizures in a neonatal rat model induce rapid phosphorylation of serine-831 (S831) and Serine 845 (S845) sites of the AMPA receptor GluR1 subunit and later neuronal hyper excitability and epilepsy, suggesting that seizure-induced posttranslational modifications may represent a novel therapeutic target. To unambiguously assess the contribution of these sites, we examined seizure susceptibility in wild-type mice versus transgenic knock-in mice with deficits in GluR1 S831 and S845 phosphorylation [GluR1 double-phosphomutant (GluR1 DPM) mice]. Phosphorylation of the GluR1 S831 and S845 sites was significantly increased in the hippocampus and cortex after a single episode of pentyleneterazol-induced seizures in postnatal day 7 (P7) wild-type mouse pups and that transgenic knock-in mice have a higher threshold and longer latencies to seizures. Like the rat, hypoxic seizures in P9 C57BL/6N wild-type mice resulted in transient increases in GluR1 S831 and GluR1 S845 phosphorylation in cortex and were associated with enhanced seizure susceptibility to later-life kainic-acid-induced seizures. In contrast, later-life seizure susceptibility after hypoxia induced seizures was attenuated in GluR1 DPM mice, supporting a role for posttranslational modifications in seizure-induced network excitability. Finally, human hippocampal samples from neonatal seizure autopsy cases also showed an increase in GluR1 S831 and S845, supporting the validation of this potential therapeutic target in human tissue.
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