Prevention of posttraumatic axon sprouting by blocking collapsin response mediator protein 2-mediated neurite outgrowth and tubulin polymerization

S. M. Wilson, W. Xiong, Y. Wang, X. Ping, J. D. Head, J. M. Brittain, P. D. Gagare, P. V. Ramachandran, X. Jin, R. Khanna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Epileptogenesis following traumatic brain injury (TBI) is likely due to a combination of increased excitability, disinhibition, and increased excitatory connectivity via aberrant axon sprouting. Targeting these pathways could be beneficial in the prevention and treatment of posttraumatic epilepsy. Here, we tested this possibility using the novel anticonvulsant (R)- N-benzyl 2-acetamido-3-methoxypropionamide ((R)-lacosamide [LCM]), which acts on both voltage-gated sodium channels and collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2), an axonal growth/guidance protein. LCM inhibited CRMP2-mediated neurite outgrowth, an effect phenocopied by CRMP2 knockdown. Mutation of LCM-binding sites in CRMP2 reduced the neurite inhibitory effect of LCM by ~8-fold. LCM also reduced CRMP2-mediated tubulin polymerization. Thus, LCM selectively impairs CRMP2-mediated microtubule polymerization, which underlies its neurite outgrowth and branching. To determine whether LCM inhibits axon sprouting in vivo, LCM was injected into rats subjected to partial cortical isolation, an animal model of posttraumatic epileptogenesis that exhibits axon sprouting in cortical pyramidal neurons. Two weeks following injury, excitatory synaptic connectivity of cortical layer V pyramidal neurons was mapped using patch clamp recordings and laser scanning photostimulation of caged glutamate. In comparison with injured control animals, there was a significant decrease in the map size of excitatory synaptic connectivity in LCM-treated rats, suggesting that LCM treatment prevented enhanced excitatory synaptic connectivity due to posttraumatic axon sprouting. These findings suggest, for the first time, that LCM's mode of action involves interactions with CRMP2 to inhibit posttraumatic axon sprouting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-466
Number of pages16
StatePublished - May 17 2012


  • CRMP2
  • Epileptogenesis
  • Lacosamide
  • Neurite outgrowth
  • Posttraumatic sprouting
  • Tubulin polymerization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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