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J Neurophysiol. 2001 Nov;86(5):2625-8.

Prolonged bursts occur in normal calcium in hippocampal slices after raising excitability and blocking synaptic transmission.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Division of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


This study examined the conditions that are required for the appearance of the long-duration seizure-like activity that can be recorded in hippocampal slices. Spontaneous interictal activity was induced in CA1 and CA3 by perfusing hippocampal slices with high potassium, cesium, 4-aminopyridine, or tetraethylammonium chloride, in normal levels of calcium. Synaptic transmission was then blocked by the addition of neurotransmitter receptor blockers (6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione, D,L-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid, and bicuculline) or the calcium channel blocker cadmium, resulting in complete blockade of the interictal discharges and the appearance of spontaneous seizure-like events (ictal-like discharges) primarily in CA1 and the dentate gyrus. Blocking synaptic transmission in normal artificial cerebrospinal fluid did not induce ictal-like discharges in any region. The results demonstrate that ictal-like discharges can appear in normal levels of extracellular calcium when chemical synaptic transmission is blocked pharmacologically. The results suggest that an increase in neuronal excitability and absence of interictal activity promote the appearance of the longer ictal-like discharges.

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