Keisuke Kaneko, Christopher B. Currin, Kevin M. Goff, Ala Somarowthu, Tim P. Vogels, Ethan M. Goldberg


Dravet syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by epilepsy, intellectual disability, and sudden death due to pathogenic variants in SCN1A with loss of function of the sodium channel subunit Nav1.1. Nav1.1-expressing parvalbumin GABAergic interneurons (PV-INs) from young Scn1a+/− mice show impaired action potential generation. An approach assessing PV-IN function in the same mice at two time points shows impaired spike generation in all Scn1a+/− mice at postnatal days (P) 16–21, whether deceased prior or surviving to P35, with normalization by P35 in surviving mice. However, PV-IN synaptic transmission is dysfunctional in young Scn1a+/− mice that did not survive and in Scn1a+/− mice ≥ P35. Modeling confirms that PV-IN axonal propagation is more sensitive to decreased sodium conductance than spike generation. These results demonstrate dynamic dysfunction in Dravet syndrome: combined abnormalities of PV-IN spike generation and propagation drives early disease severity, while ongoing dysfunction of synaptic transmission contributes to chronic pathology.

ARTICLE| VOLUME 38, ISSUE 13, 110580, MARCH 29, 2022