• apoptosis;
  • endoplasmic reticulum;
  • epilepsy;
  • neurodegeneration;
  • programmed cell death


14-3-3 proteins are a family of signaling molecules involved in diverse cellular functions, which can mediate anti-apoptotic effects. Seizure-induced neuronal death may involve programmed (apoptotic) cell death pathways and is associated with a decline in brain 14-3-3 levels. Presently, we investigated the subcellular localization and effects of seizures on isoforms of 14-3-3 in rat hippocampus, and contrasted these to findings in human temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). All brain isoforms of 14-3-3 were detected in the cytoplasmic compartment of rat hippocampus, while 14-3-3γ and -ζ were also present in mitochondrial and microsome-enriched fractions. Focally evoked seizures in rats significantly reduced 14-3-3γ levels within the microsome-enriched compartment at 4 h, with similar responses for 14-3-3ζ, while cytoplasm-localized 14-3-3β, -ε and -η remained unchanged. Analysis of human autopsy control hippocampus revealed similar 14-3-3 isoform expression profiles. In TLE samples, the microsome-enriched fraction also showed differences, but here 14-3-3ε and -ζ levels were higher than controls. TLE sample 14-3-3 isoform abundance within the cytoplasmic fraction was not different to controls. This study defines the subcellular localization of 14-3-3 isoforms in rat and human hippocampus and identifies the microsome-enriched fraction as the main site of altered 14-3-3 levels in response to acute prolonged and chronic recurrent seizures.