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Epilepsy Res. 1999 Oct;37(1):63-71.

Reduced density of parvalbumin- and calbindin D28-immunoreactive neurons in experimental cortical dysplasia.

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  • 1Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Florida, Gainesville 32610-0265, USA.


Cortical dysplasia (CD) is a congenital brain malformation in humans that is closely associated with intractable epilepsy. This study utilized an animal model of CD, in utero irradiation in rats, to determine if experimental dysplastic cortex demonstrates a reduction in the density of inhibitory interneurons. Fetal rats were exposed to external irradiation on gestational day 17 to produce diffuse CD and heterotopic grey matter. As adults, these rats were processed for immunohistochemistry using primary antibodies for parvalbumin (PA), calbindin D28k (CA), the 67 kD subunit of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD67), and cresyl violet staining. Quantitative methods were used to determine the density of immunoreactive neurons and cresyl violet-stained neurons in the neocortex at the rostro-caudal level of the anterior commissure. Compared to control values, the density of PA- and CA-immunoreactive neurons was reduced in dysplastic cortex. Density of glutamic acic decarboxylase-immunoreactive neurons was not different between control and dysplastic cortex. Overall neuronal density, measured in cresyl violet-stained sections, was not significantly different between control and dysplastic cortex. These data suggest a selective reduction in inhibitory interneurons in experimental CD cortex or an impaired ability for these neurons to produce PA and CA.

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