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Brain Res. 2010 May 17;1331:114-23. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2010.03.054. Epub 2010 Mar 21.

Selective reductions in subpopulations of GABAergic neurons in a developmental rat model of epilepsy.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, PE, Canada.


In the rat, early postnatal development is a critical period for neuronal migration, differentiation and network formation, requiring appropriate and timely glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) signaling. Insults that affect either of these systems may result in increased excitatory activity, potentially leading to changes in neuronal proliferation and/or connectivity. We have previously shown that postnatal administration of low doses of domoic acid (DOM) can produce many of the behavioral and morphological changes found in current animal models of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), as well as the human condition. Using immunohistochemical techniques, we sought to characterize alterations in specific hippocampal GABAergic subpopulations at various locations along the septo-temporal axis in the DOM model. Results show decreased levels of the GABA-synthesizing enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) in the ventral hilus and region- and sex-specific reductions in parvalbumin (PV)-containing immunoreactivity, but no alterations in somatostatin (SST) expression. These regional and sex-dependent changes in specific subpopulations of GABAergic interneurons may contribute to seizure development in this slowly progressing developmental model of TLE, and highlight how even subtle intervention may alter the interplay between glutamate and GABA systems during critical developmental stages.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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