Review Article

Mechano-sensitive ion channels and epilepsy

Betul Koklu, Arda Kaan Uner, Ayse Kristina Polat, Enes Akyuz

Department of Biophysics, Faculty of Medicine, Yozgat Bozok University, Yozgat, Turkey


Detection of senses such as membrane stretching, touch, pressure, and vibration are provided by receptors mediating mechanical transduction in cells. Mechanical forces play a key role in various physiological events such as cell proliferation, migration, adhesion, morphogenesis, gene expression, fluid homeostasis, and vesicular transport. Furthermore, it is vital for the development of organisms. Different tension-sensitive receptors have been shown in the cell membrane, including mechanically sensitive ion channels, G-protein bound receptors, and integrins. The receptors mediating mechanical stimulation act by interacting with cytosolic force-sensing elements such as microtubules and actin filaments. Among the primary mechanical sensitive membrane proteins at the origin of cellular signaling cascades, tension-sensitive ion channels stand out for their rapid activity in converting mechanical stimuli into electrochemical intracellular signals. Considering their roles in physiological processes, tension-sensitive ion channels are essential for the cells to maintain their functions. However, changes in these channels are known to lead to various diseases such as epilepsy, hearing loss, cardiomyopathies, muscular dystrophies, chronic pain, and cancer. In this review, tension-sensitive ion channels and receptors that play a role in the pathogenesis of epilepsy disease are discussed. It is also prominent to draw attention to the treatment potential of anesthetic agents through mechanical stimulation in the treatment of epilepsy in the development of new alternative drugs.

Keywords: epilepsy, ion-channels, mechanoreceptors