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Amygdala gene expression of NMDA and GABAA receptors in patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy



Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is the most common form of partial epilepsy and affects 40% of the patients. Seizures arising from the mesial temporal lobe structures (i.e., amygdala and hippocampus) are common, whereas neocortical seizures are rare. In recent years, many studies aimed to identify the pattern of gene expression of neurotransmitters involved in molecular mechanisms of epilepsy. We used real-time PCR to quantify the expression of GABAA (subunits α1, β1, β2) and NMDA (subunits NR1, NR2A, and NR2B) receptor genes in amygdalae of 27 patients with TLE and 14 amygdalae from autopsy controls. The NR1 subunit was increased in patients with epilepsy when compared with controls. No differences were found in expression of NMDA subunits NR2A and NR2B or in α1, β1, and β2 subunits of GABAA receptors. Our results suggest that the NR1 subunit of NMDA receptors is involved in the amygdala hyperexcitability in some of the patients with TLE. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., Inc.