Characterization of seizure susceptibility in Pcdh19 mice

Jennifer Rakotomamonjy, Niki P. Sabetfakhri, Sean L. McDermott, Alicia Guemez-Gamboa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective: PCDH19-related epilepsy is characterized by a distinctive pattern of X-linked inheritance, where heterozygous females exhibit seizures and hemizygous males are asymptomatic. A cellular interference mechanism resulting from the presence of both wild-type and mutant PCDH19 neurons in heterozygous patients or mosaic carriers of PCDH19 variants has been hypothesized. We aim to investigate seizure susceptibility and progression in the Pchd19 mouse model. Methods: We assessed seizure susceptibility and progression in the Pcdh19 mouse model using three acute seizure induction paradigms. We first induced focal, clonic seizures using the 6-Hz psychomotor test. Mice were stimulated with increasing current intensities and graded according to a modified Racine scale. We next induced generalized seizures using flurothyl or pentylenetetrazol (PTZ), both γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptor function inhibitors, and recorded latencies to myoclonic and generalized tonic-clonic seizures. Results: Pcdh19 knockout and heterozygous females displayed increased seizure susceptibility across all current intensities in the 6-Hz psychomotor test, and increased severity overall. They also exhibited shorter latencies to generalized seizures following flurothyl, but not PTZ, seizure induction. Hemizygous males showed comparable seizure incidence and severity to their wild-type male littermates across all paradigms tested. Significance: The heightened susceptibility observed in Pcdh19 knockout females suggests additional mechanisms other than cellular interference are at play in PCDH19-related epilepsy. Further experiments are needed to understand the variability in seizure susceptibility so that this model can be best utilized toward development of future therapeutic strategies for PCDH19-related epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2313-2320
Number of pages8
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2020


  • X-linked
  • epilepsy
  • protocadherin 19

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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