Epileptogenesis and Brain Tumors

  • Rüdiger Köhling
Reference work entry

Short Description

Seizures are a common symptom of brain tumors and in fact complicate the already difficult management of tumor patients. Although the clinical phenomenon is common, the mechanisms of tumor-induced seizures are poorly understood, and they have become a matter of experimental investigations only recently. The essay will give a brief overview over these experimental findings, and will spotlight different hypotheses of brain-tumor-dependent modification of neuronal excitability: In the first part of the article, the general processes governing intrinsic, i.e., cellular, and synaptic, i.e., network, excitability will be delineated. The second part addresses the question of tumor-induced epilepsy. While a number of theories have been put forward during the past decades explaining increased excitability with, e.g., increased intracranial pressure, deafferentation (possibly also a problem arising with tumor surgery) and shifts in synaptic properties, loss of astrocytic gap...


Temporal Lobe Epilepsy Febrile Seizure Spatial Buffer Network Excitability Epileptic Tissue 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Abbreviations


Blood–brain barrier


Expression levels of excitatory amino acid carrier 1


Generalized epilepsy with febrile seizures


Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide gated nonspecific


Metabotropic glutamate receptor


Severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy


Transforming growth factor-β


Transient receptor potential


  1. Avanzini G, Franceschetti S (2004) Mechanisms of epileptogenesis. In: Shorvon S, Perucca E, Fish D, Dodson E (eds) The treatment of epilepsy, 2nd edn. Blackwell, Malden, Oxford, Carlton, pp 74–83Google Scholar
  2. Avoli M, Louvel J, Pumain R, Kohline R (2005) Cellular and molecular mechanisms of epilepsy in the human brain. Prog Neurobiol 77:166–200.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Badawy RA, Harvey AS, Macdonell RA (2009) Cortical hyperexcitability and epileptogenesis: understanding the mechanisms of epilepsy - part 1. J Clin Neurosci 16:355–365.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Beaumont A, Whittle IR (2000) The pathogenesis of tumour associated epilepsy. Acta Neurochir (Wien) 142:1–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Higashimori H, Sontheimer H (2007) Role of Kir4.1 channels in growth control of glia. Glia 55:1668–7169CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Ivens S, Kaufer D, Flores LP, Bechmann I, Zumsteg D, Tomkins O, Seiffert E, Heinemann U, Friedman A (2007) TGF-beta receptor-mediated albumin uptake into astrocytes is involved in neocortical epileptogenesis. Brain 130:535–547CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Köhling R (2008) Entstehungsmechanismen der Epilepsie – unkonventionelle Hypothesen. Z Epileptol 21:171–179CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Köhling R, Senner V, Paulus W, Speckmann EJ (2006) Epileptiform activity preferentially arises outside tumor invasion zone in glioma xenotransplants. Neurobiol Dis 22:64–75CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Patt S, Labrakakis C, Bernstein M, Weydt P, Cervós-Navarro J, Nisch G, Kettenmann H (1996) Neuron-like physiological properties of cells from human oligodendroglial tumors. Neuroscience 71:601–611CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Seiffert E, Dreier JP, Ivens S, Bechmann I, Tomkins O, Heinemann U, Friedman A (2004) Lasting blood–brain barrier disruption induces epileptic focus in the rat somatosensory cortex. J Neurosci 24:7829–7836CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Sontheimer H (2003) Malignant gliomas: perverting glutamate and ion homeostasis for selective advantage. Trends Neurosci 26:543–954CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Sontheimer H (2004) Ion channels and amino acid transporters support the growth and invasion of primary brain tumors. Mol Neurobiol 29:61–71CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Takano T, Lin JH, Arcuino G, Gao Q, Yang J, Nedergaard M (2001) Glutamate release promotes growth of malignant gliomas. Nat Med 7:1010–1015CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rüdiger Köhling
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PhysiologyUniversity of RostockGertrudenstrasse 9Germany

Personalised recommendations