White matter neuronal heterotopia in temporal lobe epilepsy: A morphometric and immunohistochemical study

Jacqueline A. Emery, S. N. Roper, Amyn M. Rojiani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


A frequent abnormality in temporal lobes (TL) resected for pharmacoresistant epilepsy is the presence of heterotopic neurons within white matter (WM). We compared heterotopic neuron density in 22 TLs surgically resected from epilepsy patients with TLs from 22 non-neurologic cases obtained at autopsies. Neuronal density was assessed on LFB-PAS- stained and parallel sections immunoreacted for microtubule-associated- protein-2 (MAP-2). The white matter area was outlined by an image analysis system. Neurons, identified by morphologic features, were counted within the marked area. Results are expressed as mean ± SD neurons/mm2. LFB/PAS sections: Epilepsy cases 4.11 ± 1.86, Autopsy (normal) 2.35 ± 0.96; MAP-2 sections: Epilepsy cases 4.08 ± 1.22, autopsy (normal) 1.68 ± 0.92 (significant at 0.05 level by Wilcoxon's Rank Sums test). The lower number of MAP-2-immunopositive neurons in the control group as compared with the histologically identified group is most likely the result of antigen degradation resulting from an increased postmortem interval. These results indicate that normal TLWM contains a heterotopic population of neurons, and that this neuronal density is significantly higher in epilepsy patients. It is felt that this increased neuronal density is an epiphenomenon rather than the cause of seizures, and may be the result of decreased white matter either secondary to disruption of myelination, or loss of neurons as part of mesial temporal sclerosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1276-1282
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of neuropathology and experimental neurology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'White matter neuronal heterotopia in temporal lobe epilepsy: A morphometric and immunohistochemical study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this