Leptin is a hormone that reduces excitability in some hypothalamic neurons via leptin receptor activation of the JAK2 and PI3K intracellular signaling pathways. We hypothesized that leptin receptor activation in other neuronal subtypes would have anticonvulsant activity and that intranasal leptin delivery would be an effective route of administration. We tested leptin’s anticonvulsant action in 2 rodent seizure models by directly injecting it into the cortex or by administering it intranasally. Focal seizures in rats were induced by neocortical injections of 4-aminopyridine, an inhibitor of voltage-gated K+ channels. These seizures were briefer and less frequent upon coinjection of 4-aminopyridine and leptin. In mice, intranasal administration of leptin produced elevated brain and serum leptin levels and delayed the onset of chemical convulsant pentylenetetrazole-induced generalized convulsive seizures. Leptin also reduced neuronal spiking in an in vitro seizure model. Leptin inhibited α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole proprionic acid (AMPA) receptor–mediated synaptic transmission in mouse hippocampal slices but failed to inhibit synaptic responses in slices from leptin receptor–deficient db/db mice. JAK2 and PI3K antagonists prevented leptin inhibition of AMPAergic synaptic transmission. We conclude that leptin receptor activation and JAK2/PI3K signaling may be novel targets for anticonvulsant treatments. Intranasal leptin administration may have potential as an acute abortive treatment for convulsive seizures in emergency situations.
Lin Xu, Nicholas Rensing, Xiao-Feng Yang, Hai Xia Zhang, Liu Lin Thio, Steven M. Rothman, Aryan E. Weisenfeld, Michael Wong, Kelvin A. Yamada
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. All accepted letters will be posted on our website within one week of acceptance. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors of all accepted letters will be asked to preview any changes. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were not accepted. As this is a final decision, no appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at email@example.com.