Adenoviral gene transfer of aspartoacylase ameliorates tonic convulsions of spontaneously epileptic rats.
The spontaneously epileptic rat (SER: tm/tm, zi/zi) shows both absence-like seizures and tonic convulsions. Our previous studies have demonstrated that absence-like seizures of the tremor rat (tm/tm), one of the parent strains of SER, were inhibited by adenoviral transfer of the aspartoacylase (ASPA) gene, a deleted gene in the tremor rat. In the present study, we examined whether the adenoviral gene transfer of ASPA inhibited the tonic convulsions of SER. Replication-defective recombinant adenoviral vectors carrying the rat ASPA gene (AxASPA) or Escherichia coli beta-galactosidase gene (AxLacZ), as a control, were constructed. After it was confirmed that AxASPA-infected HeLa cells expressed ASPA in vitro, AxASPA or AxLacZ was administered into the left lateral ventricle of 11-week-old SER. The occurrence and duration of tonic convulsions in SER were evaluated before and after the administration of adenoviral vector. Intracerebroventricular administration of AxASPA (5 x 10(7) plaque forming units) transiently, but significantly, inhibited the occurrence of tonic convulsions in SER without affecting the duration per single convulsion 7 days after the administration. No inhibitory effects were observed 10 and 14 days after AxASPA administration. In contrast, the administration of AxLacZ did not have any effect on tonic convulsions in SER. Survival rates did not differ between AxASPA- and AxLacZ-treated SERs. Adenoviral gene transfer of ASPA, one of the deleted genes of SER, transiently rescued SERs from tonic convulsion, although it did not improve their survival time.