March 1, 2021

Sublayer- and cell-type-specific neurodegenerative transcriptional trajectories in hippocampal sclerosis

Hippocampal sclerosis, the major neuropathological hallmark of temporal lobe epilepsy, is characterized by different patterns of neuronal loss. The mechanisms of cell-type specific vulnerability, their progression and histopathological classification remain controversial. Here using single-cell electrophysiology in vivo and immediate early gene expression, we reveal that superficial CA1 pyramidal neurons are overactive in epileptic rats and mice. Bulk tissue and single-nucleus expression profiling disclosed sublayer-specific transcriptomic signatures and robust microglial pro-inflammatory responses. Transcripts regulating neuronal processes such as voltage-channels, synaptic signalling and cell adhesion molecules were deregulated by epilepsy differently across sublayers, while neurodegenerative signatures primarily involved superficial cells. Pseudotime analysis of gene expression in single-nuclei and in situ validation revealed separated trajectories from health to epilepsy across cell types, and identified a subset of superficial cells undergoing a later stage in neurodegeneration. Our findings indicate sublayer- and cell type-specific changes associated with selective CA1 neuronal damage contributing to progression of hippocampal sclerosis

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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