Courtesy of a colleague
Ballester-Rosado CJ, Le JT, Lam TT, Mohila CA, Lam S, Anderson AE, Frost JD Jr, Swann JW. A Role for Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 in the Generation of Epileptic Spasms. Ann Neurol. 2022 Apr 25. doi: 10.1002/ana.26383. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35467038.
Objective: Infantile spasms are associated with a wide variety of clinical conditions, including perinatal brain injuries. We have created a model in which prolonged infusion of tetrodotoxin (TTX) into the neocortex, beginning in infancy, produces a localized lesion and reproduces the behavioral spasms, electroencephalogram (EEG) abnormalities, and drug responsiveness seen clinically. Here, we undertook experiments to explore the possibility that the growth factor IGF-1 plays a role in generating epileptic spasms.
Methods: We combined long-term video EEG recordings with quantitative immunohistochemical and biochemical analyses to unravel IGF-1's role in spasm generation. Immunohistochemistry was undertaken in surgically resected tissue from infantile spasms patients. We used viral injections in neonatal conditional IGF-1R knock-out mice to show that an IGF-1-derived tripeptide (1-3)IGF-1, acts through the IGF-1 receptor to abolish spasms.
Results: Immunohistochemical methods revealed widespread loss of IGF-1 from cortical neurons, but an increase in IGF-1 in the reactive astrocytes in the TTX-induced lesion. Very similar changes were observed in the neocortex from patients with spasms. In animals, we observed reduced signaling through the IGF-1 growth pathways in areas remote from the lesion. To show the reduction in IGF-1 expression plays a role in spasm generation, epileptic rats were treated with (1-3)IGF-1. We provide 3 lines of evidence that (1-3)IGF-1 activates the IGF-1 signaling pathway by acting through the receptor for IGF-1. Treatment with (1-3)IGF-1 abolished spasms and hypsarrhythmia-like activity in the majority of animals.
Interpretation: Results implicate IGF-1 in the pathogenesis of infantile spasms and IGF-1 analogues as potential novel therapies for this neurodevelopmental disorder.