Severe medial temporal lobe epilepsy (mTLE) is often associated with pharmacoresistant seizures, impaired memory and mood disorders. In the hippocampus, GABAergic inhibitory interneuron dysfunction and other neural circuit abnormalities contribute to hyperexcitability, but the mechanisms are still not well understood. Experimental approaches aimed at correcting deficits in hippocampal circuits in mTLE include attempts to replace GABAergic interneurons through neural stem cell transplantation. Evidence from studies in rodent mTLE models indicates that transplanted GABAergic progenitor cells integrate into the hippocampus, form inhibitory synapses, reduce seizures and improve cognitive deficits. Here, we review current work in this field and describe potential molecular mechanisms underlying successful transplantation.
Part of the book: Synaptic Plasticity