Purposeful induction of fever for healing, including the treatment of epilepsy, was used over 2000 years ago by Hippocrates. More recently, fever has been demonstrated to rescue behavioral abnormalities in children with autism. However, the mechanism of fever benefit has remained elusive due in large part to the lack of appropriate human disease models recapitulating the fever effect. Pathological mutations in the IQSEC2 gene are frequently seen in children presenting with intellectual disability, autism and epilepsy. We recently described a murine A350V IQSEC2 disease model, which recapitulates important aspects of the human A350V IQSEC2 disease phenotype and the favorable response to a prolonged and sustained rise in body core temperature in a child with the mutation. Our goal has been to use this system to understand the mechanism of fever benefit and then develop drugs that can mimic this effect and reduce IQSEC2-associated morbidity. In this study, we first demonstrate a reduction in seizures in the mouse model following brief periods of heat therapy, similar to what was observed in a child with the mutation. We then show that brief heat therapy is associated with the correction of synaptic dysfunction in neuronal cultures of A350V mice, likely mediated by Arf6-GTP.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was funded in part by the Autism Research Institute to A.P.L. (2022-07).
© 2023 by the authors.
- AMPA receptor
- heat therapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry