Astrocyte dysfunction may contribute to epileptogenesis and other neurological deficits in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC). In particular, decreased expression and function of astrocyte glutamate transporters have been implicated in causing elevated extracellular glutamate levels, neuronal death, and epilepsy in a mouse model of TSC (Tsc1GFAPCKO mice), involving inactivation of the Tsc1 gene primarily in astrocytes. Here, we tested whether pharmacological induction of astrocyte glutamate transporter expression can prevent the neurological phenotype of Tsc1GFAPCKO mice. Early treatment with ceftriaxone prior to the onset of epilepsy increased expression of astrocyte glutamate transporters, decreased extracellular glutamate levels, neuronal death, and seizure frequency, and improved survival in Tsc1GFAPCKO mice. In contrast, late treatment with ceftriaxone after onset of epilepsy increased glutamate transporter expression, but had no effect on seizures. These results indicate that astrocyte glutamate transporters contribute to epileptogenesis in Tsc1GFAPCKO mice and suggest novel therapeutic strategies for epilepsy in TSC directed at astrocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)764-771
Number of pages8
JournalNeurobiology of Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Ceftriaxone
  • Epilepsy
  • Epileptogenesis
  • GLT-1
  • Glia
  • Mice
  • Seizure


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