Abstract

 

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disease characterized by spontaneous recurrent seizures and caused by various factors and mechanisms. Malfunction of the olfactory bulb is frequently observed in patients with epilepsy. However, the morphological changes in the olfactory bulb during epilepsy-induced neuropathology have not been elucidated. Therefore, in the present study, we investigated the expression of parvalbumin (PV), one of the calcium-binding proteins, and morphological changes in the rat main olfactory bulb (MOB) following pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus (SE). Pilocarpine-induced SE resulted in neuronal degeneration in the external plexiform layer (EPL) and glomerular layer (GL) of the MOB. PV immunoreactivity was observed in the neuronal somas and processes in the EPL and GL of the control group. However, six hours after pilocarpine administration, PV expression was remarkably decreased in the neuronal processes compared to the somas and the average number of PV-positive interneurons was significantly decreased. Three months after pilocarpine treatment, the number of PV-positive interneurons was also significantly decreased compared to the 6 hour group in both layers. In addition, the number of NeuN-positive neurons was also significantly decreased in the EPL and GL following pilocarpine treatment. In double immunofluorescence staining for PV and MAP2, the immunoreactivity for MAP2 around the PV-positive neurons was significantly decreased three months after pilocarpine treatment. Therefore, the present findings suggest that decreases in PV-positive GABAergic interneurons and dendritic density in the MOB induced impaired calcium buffering and reciprocal synaptic transmission. Thus, these alterations may be considered key factors aggravating olfactory function in patients with epilepsy.