Forebrain-selective AMPA-receptor antagonism guided by TARPλ 3-8 as an antiepileptic mechanism

Akihiko S. Kato*, Kevin D. Burris, Kevin M. Gardinier, Douglas L. Gernert, Warren J. Porter, Jon Reel, Chunjin Ding, Yuan Tu, Douglas A. Schober, Matthew R. Lee, Beverly A. Heinz, Thomas E. Fitch, Scott D. Gleason, John T. Catlow, Hong Yu, Stephen M. Fitzjohn, Francesca Pasqui, He Wang, Yuewei Qian, Emanuele SherRuud Zwart, Keith A. Wafford, Kurt Rasmussen, Paul L. Ornstein, John T.R. Isaac, Eric S. Nisenbaum, David S. Bredt, Jeffrey M. Witkin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)
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Pharmacological manipulation of specific neural circuits to optimize therapeutic index is an unrealized goal in neurology and psychiatry. AMPA receptors are important for excitatory synaptic transmission, and their antagonists are antiepileptic. Although efficacious, AMPA-receptor antagonists, including perampanel (Fycompa), the only approved antagonist for epilepsy, induce dizziness and motor impairment. We hypothesized that blockade of forebrain AMPA receptors without blocking cerebellar AMPA receptors would be antiepileptic and devoid of motor impairment. Taking advantage of an AMPA receptor auxiliary protein, TARP Î 3-8, which is selectively expressed in the forebrain and modulates the pharmacological properties of AMPA receptors, we discovered that LY3130481 selectively antagonized recombinant and native AMPA receptors containing λ8, but not λ2 (cerebellum) or other TARP members. Two amino acid residues unique to λ8 determined this selectivity. We also observed antagonism of AMPA receptors expressed in hippocampal, but not cerebellar, tissue from an patient with epilepsy. Corresponding to this selective activity, LY3130481 prevented multiple seizure types in rats and mice and without motor side effects. These findings demonstrate the first rationally discovered molecule targeting specific neural circuitries for therapeutic advantage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1496-1501
Number of pages6
JournalNature Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2016


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