TβRs (transforming growth factor β receptors) have recently been identified in animal experiments as being involved in the pathogenesis of epilepsy. The aim of the present study was to understand further the potential effects of TβRs in human epilepsy. Tissue samples of temporal neocortices from 30 patients with temporal lobe epilepsy were prepared for detecting TβR-I (type 1 TβR) protein expression using immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence and Western blotting. We compared these tissues with histologically normal temporal lobes from controls. TβR-I immunoreactivity was increased in the patient group compared with controls using immunohistochemistry, and this finding was consistently observed with Western blot analysis. Immunofluorescence showed that TβR-I fluorescence stain mainly accumulated in the cytoplasm of astrocytes. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate that an up-regulation of TβR-I is present in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy.

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