Potent Anti-seizure Effects of Locked Nucleic Acid Antagomirs Targeting miR-134 in Multiple Mouse and Rat Models of Epilepsy.
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Current anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) act on a limited set of neuronal targets, are ineffective in a third of patients with epilepsy, and do not show disease-modifying properties. MicroRNAs are small noncoding RNAs that regulate levels of proteins by post-transcriptional control of mRNA stability and translation. MicroRNA-134 is involved in controlling neuronal microstructure and brain excitability and previous studies showed that intracerebroventricular injections of locked nucleic acid (LNA), cholesterol-tagged antagomirs targeting microRNA-134 (Ant-134) reduced evoked and spontaneous seizures in mouse models of status epilepticus. Translation of these findings would benefit from evidence of efficacy in non-status epilepticus models and validation in another species. Here, we report that electrographic seizures and convulsive behavior are strongly reduced in adult mice pre-treated with Ant-134 in the pentylenetetrazol model. Pre-treatment with Ant-134 did not affect the severity of status epilepticus induced by perforant pathway stimulation in adult rats, a toxin-free model of acquired epilepsy. Nevertheless, Ant-134 post-treatment reduced the number of rats developing spontaneous seizures by 86% in the perforant pathway stimulation model and Ant-134 delayed epileptiform activity in a rat ex vivo hippocampal slice model. The potent anticonvulsant effects of Ant-134 in multiple models may encourage pre-clinical development of this approach to epilepsy therapy.