Early-life stress has been shown to destabilize the homeostatic synaptic plasticity and compromise the developing brain to the later encountered insults. This study would determine the long-term epileptogenic effect of neonatal isolation (NI) on early-life seizure. There were five groups: normal rearing (NR) rats; NI rats; NR rats suffering from status epilepticus (SE) at P12 (NR-SE); NI-SE rats; NI-SE-MK801 rats. All adult rats were video monitored to detect behavioral seizures, examined with brain magnetic resonance imaging, and assessed for hippocampal NeuN-immunoreactive (NeuN-IR) cells. Behavioral seizures were detected in one of six NR-SE rats, all the NI-SE rats (eight of eight), and none in the NR, NI, or NI-SE-MK801 rats. High hippocampal T2 signal were only found in three of five NR-SE rats, five of six NI-SE rats, and one of five NI-SE-MK801 rats. There was a significant decrease in the number of hippocampal NeuN-IR cells in the NR-SE and NI-SE groups, compared with the NR group, and MK-801 treatment ameliorated the neuronal loss. Our results demonstrated that NI led to an increase in epileptogenesis in rat pups with early-life SE, and treatment with MK-801 could ameliorate brain injuries, indicating a critical role of N-methyl-d-aspartic acid receptor in the epileptogenic process.
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