Increased expression of vascular endothelial growth factor-C and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-3 after pilocarpineinduced status epilepticus in mice
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-C and its receptor, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR)-3, are responsible for lymphangiogenesis in both embryos and adults. In epilepsy, the expression of VEGF-C and VEGFR-3 was significantly upregulated in the human brains affected with temporal lobe epilepsy. Moreover, pharmacologic inhibition of VEGF receptors after acute seizures could suppress the generation of spontaneous recurrent seizures, suggesting a critical role of VEGF-related signaling in epilepsy. Therefore, in the present study, the spatiotemporal expression of VEGF-C and VEGFR-3 against pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus (SE) was investigated in C57BL/6N mice using immunohistochemistry. At 1 day after SE, hippocampal astrocytes and microglia were activated. Pyramidal neuronal death was observed at 4 days after SE. In the subpyramidal zone, VEGF-C expression gradually increased and peaked at 7 days after SE, while VEGFR-3 was significantly upregulated at 4 days after SE and began to decrease at 7 days after SE. Most VEGFC/ VEGFR-3-expressing cells were pyramidal neurons, but VEGF-C was also observed in some astrocytes in sham-manipulated animals. However, at 4 days and 7 days after SE, both VEGFR-3 and VEGF-C immunoreactivities were observed mainly in astrocytes and in some microglia of the stratum radiatum and lacunosum-moleculare of the hippocampus, respectively. These data indicate that VEGF-C and VEGFR-3 can be upregulated in hippocampal astrocytes and microglia after pilocarpine-induced SE, providing basic information about VEGF-C and VEGFR-3 expression patterns following acute seizures.