Decreased astroglial monocarboxylate transporter 4 expression in temporal lobe epilepsy.Mol Neurobiol 2014; 50(2):327-38MN
Efflux of monocaroxylates like lactate, pyruvate, and ketone bodies from astrocytes through monocarboxylate transporter 4 (MCT4) supplies the local neuron population with metabolic intermediates to meet energy requirements under conditions of increased demand. Disruption of this astroglial-neuron metabolic coupling pathway may contribute to epileptogenesis. We measured MCT4 expression in temporal lobe epileptic foci excised from patients with intractable epilepsy and in rats injected with pilocarpine, an animal model of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). Cortical MCT4 expression levels were significantly lower in TLE patients compared with controls, due at least partially to MCT4 promoter methylation. Expression of MCT4 also decreased progressively in pilocarpine-treated rats from 12 h to 14 days post-administration. Underexpression of MCT4 in cultured astrocytes induced by a short hairpin RNA promoted apoptosis. Knockdown of astrocyte MCT4 also suppressed excitatory amino acid transporter 1 (EAAT1) expression. Reduced MCT4 and EAAT1 expression by astrocytes may lead to neuronal hyperexcitability and epileptogenesis in the temporal lobe by reducing the supply of metabolic intermediates and by allowing accumulation of extracellular glutamate.