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Neuropharmacology. 2006 Feb;50(2):209-18. Epub 2005 Oct 21.

Galanin receptor-1 knockout mice exhibit spontaneous epilepsy, abnormal EEGs and altered inhibition in the hippocampus.

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  • 1Division of Neuroscience, John Curtin School of Medical Research, The Australian National University, Building 54, Canberra ACT 0200, Australia.


Galanin is a widely-distributed neuropeptide that acts as an endogenous anticonvulsant. We have recently generated a galanin receptor type 1 knockout mouse (Galr1(-/-)) that develops spontaneous seizures. Our aim here was to characterize the seizures by making electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings from this animal, and also to elucidate the cellular basis of its epileptic phenotype by studying the neurophysiology of CA1 pyramidal neurons in acute hippocampal slices. EEGs showed that major seizures had a partial onset with secondary generalization, and that paroxysms of spike-and-slow waves occurred and were associated with hypoactivity. The interictal EEG was also abnormal, with a marked excess of spike-and-slow waves. Slice experiments showed that resting potential, input resistance, intrinsic excitability, paired-pulse facilitation of excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs and IPSCs), stimulus--response plots for EPSCs, and several properties of spontaneous miniature EPSCs and IPSCs were all unchanged in the mutant mouse compared with wildtype. However, the frequency of miniature IPSCs was significantly reduced in the mutants. These results suggest that impaired synaptic inhibition in the hippocampus may contribute to the local onset of seizures in the Galr1(-/-) mouse.

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