Intermittent dosing of rapamycin maintains antiepileptogenic effects in a mouse model of tuberous sclerosis complex

Nicholas Rensing, Lirong Han, Michael Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Objective Inhibitors of the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway have antiepileptogenic effects in preventing epilepsy and pathologic and molecular mechanisms of epileptogenesis in mouse models of tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). However, long-term treatment with mTOR inhibitors may be required to maintain efficacy and potentially has chronic side effects, such as immunosuppression. Attempts to minimize drug exposure will facilitate translational efforts to develop mTOR inhibitors as antiepileptogenic agents for patients with TSC. In this study, we tested intermittent dosing paradigms of mTOR inhibitors for antiepileptogenic properties in a TSC mouse model. Methods Western blot analysis of phosphorylation of S6 protein was used to assess the dose- and time-dependence of mTOR inhibition by rapamycin in control mice and conditional knockout mice with inactivation of the Tsc1 gene in glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-expressing cells (Tsc1GFAPCKO mice). Based on the Western blot studies, different dosing paradigms of rapamycin starting at postnatal day 21 were tested for their ability to prevent epilepsy or pathologic abnormalities in Tsc1GFAPCKO mice: 4 days of rapamycin only (4-∞), 4 days on-24 days off (4-24), and 4 days on-10 days off (4-10). Results mTOR activity was inhibited by rapamycin in a dose-dependent fashion and recovered to baseline by about 10 days after the last rapamycin dose. The 4-10 and 4-24 dosing paradigms almost completely prevented epilepsy and the 4-10 paradigm inhibited glial proliferation and megalencephaly in Tsc1GFAPCKO mice. Significance Intermittent dosing of rapamycin, with drug holidays of more than 3 weeks, maintains significant antiepileptogenic properties in mouse models of TSC. These findings have important translational applications in developing mTOR inhibitors as antiepileptogenic agents in TSC patients by minimizing drug exposure and potential side effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1088-1097
Number of pages10
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015


  • Epilepsy
  • Mechanistic target of rapamycin
  • Mice
  • Rapamycin
  • Seizure


Dive into the research topics of 'Intermittent dosing of rapamycin maintains antiepileptogenic effects in a mouse model of tuberous sclerosis complex'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this