Suppressive effects of levetiracetam on neuroinflammation and phagocytic microglia: A comparative study of levetiracetam, valproate and carbamazepine.Neurosci Lett. 2019 08 24; 708:134363.NL
We previously reported that treatment with levetiracetam (LEV) after status epilepticus (SE) termination by diazepam (DZP) prevents the development of spontaneous recurrent seizures. LEV suppresses increased expression levels of proinflammatory mediators during epileptogenesis after SE, but how LEV acts in neuroinflammatory processes is not yet known. In this study, we examined the effects of LEV on neuroinflammation and phagocytic microglia in vivo and in vitro and compared the effects of LEV with those of representative antiepileptic drugs valproate (VPA) and carbamazepine (CBZ). Repeated treatment with LEV for 30 days after the termination of pilocarpine-induced SE by DZP almost completely prevented the incidence of spontaneous recurrent seizures, while administration of VPA or CBZ showed no effect on the seizures. LEV clearly suppressed phagocytosis of mononuclear phagocytes, and cytokine expression was observed 2 days after SE. VPA attenuated neuroinflammation only, and CBZ showed no effect on changes after SE. Treatment with LEV significantly suppressed BV-2 microglial activation, which was defined by morphological changes, phagocytic activity and cytokine expression. By contrast, VPA and CBZ did not affect BV-2 microglial activity. In summary, LEV directly suppresses excess microglial phagocytosis during epileptogenesis, which might prevent the occurrence of spontaneous recurrent seizures after SE.