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Seizure. 2006 Jan;15(1):1-16. Epub 2005 Nov 22.

Perinatal seizures preferentially protect CA1 neurons from seizure-induced damage in prepubescent rats.

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  • 1NJ Neuroscience Institute, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ 07079, USA.


Neonatal seizures may increase neuronal vulnerability later in life. Therefore, status epilepticus was induced with kainate (KA) during the first and second postnatal (P) weeks to determine whether early seizures shift the window of neuronal vulnerability to a younger age. KA was injected (i.p.) once (1x KA) on P13, P20 or P30 or three times (3 x KA), once on P6 and P9, and then either on P13, P20 or P30. After 1x KA, onset to behavioral seizures increased with age. Electroencephalography (EEG) showed interictal events appeared with maturation. After 3 x KA, spike number, frequency, spike amplitude, and high-frequency synchronous events and duration were increased at P13 when compared to age-matched controls. In contrast, P20 and P30 rats had decreases in EEG parameters relative to P20 and P30 rats with 1x KA despite that these animals had the same history of perinatal seizures on P6 and P9. In P13 rats with 1x KA, silver impregnation, hematoxylin/eosin and TUNEL methods showed no significant hippocampal injury and damage was minimal with 3 x KA. In contrast, P20 and P30 rats with 1x KA had robust eosinophilic or TUNEL positive labeling and preferential accumulation of silver ions within inner layer CA1 neurons. After 3 x KA, the CA1 but not CA3 of P20 and P30 rats was preferentially protected following 3 or 6 days. Although paradoxical changes occur in the EEG with maturation, the results indicate that early perinatal seizures do not significantly shift the window of hippocampal vulnerability to an earlier age but induce a tolerance that leads to long-term neuroprotection that differentially affects endogenous properties of CA1 versus CA3 neurons.

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