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Gene product induced by seizures.

Gene product induced by seizures

Treating mice with a convulsion-causing drug triggers atemporary buildup in nerve cells of a protein coded for the c-fos gene, say researchers at the Roche Research Center in Nutley, N.J. Although the protein's exact role in the body's response to convulsions is not understood, the scientists say it may affect how the brain adapts to repeated seizures. Related to genes found in mouse-cancer viruses, c-fos normally expresses itself in low amounts. However, about 90 minutes after the researchers injected mice with the seizure-inducing drug pentylenetetrazole (Metrazole), levels of c-fos protein were detected in parts of the brain. By four hours after the injection, "essentially all' neurons in the cortex and limbic-system areas of the brain contained the protein. The scientists report in the July 10 SCIENCE that the distribution of these c-fos-containing neurons is similar to that of binding sites for at least one known anticonvulsant drug. As might be expected from these similar distribution patterns, the scientists also found that prior treatment of mice with anticonvulsant drugs blocks the Metrazole-induced production of the c-fos protein.
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Publication:Science News
Date:Aug 1, 1987
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