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J Neurophysiol. 1993 Apr;69(4):1276-91.

Epileptogenesis in chronically injured cortex: in vitro studies.

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  • 1Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine, California 94305-5300.


1. Field potentials and intracellular activities were examined in neocortical slices obtained through areas of chronic cortical injury produced by cortical undercutting and transcortical lesions made in vivo 7-122 days before the terminal in vitro slice experiment. 2. Abnormal field potentials characterized by long- and variable-latency multiphasic events could be evoked by layer VI-white matter or subpial stimulation in 9 of 15 animals that had adequate partial cortical isolations. These "epileptiform" field potentials were recorded in layers II-V and propagated across the cortex. They appeared at threshold in an all-or-none fashion and, in most slices, could be blocked by increasing stimulus intensity. In one slice, spontaneous epileptiform events occurred that were similar to those evoked by extracellular stimulation. 3. Intracellular activities during the epileptiform field potentials consisted of polyphasic synaptic events that were predominantly depolarizing and that could last < or = 400-500 ms, synchronous with the field potential activities. A variety of observations suggested that the neuronal activities underlying epileptiform field potentials were relatively asynchronous and much less intense than those previously found in chemically induced epileptogenesis within the neocortex. 4. Inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs) were not prominent in neurons when threshold stimuli evoked epileptiform events; however, suprathreshold stimuli could elicit biphasic IPSPs and block the long-latency polysynaptic activity and abnormal field potential in most slices. Depolarizing components of the polysynaptic activity had the appearance of excitatory postsynaptic potentials in terms of their responses to alterations in membrane potential. 5. Comparison of spike parameters in layer V neurons of epileptogenic slices with those in control layer V neurons showed no significant differences in spike height, threshold, duration, or rise time. Resting membrane potentials were also not significantly different. 6. There was a highly significant difference in input resistance (RN) between layer V neurons in control and injured slices; the mean value for neurons in lesioned cortex was 68.1 M omega, whereas that in control cells was 30.5 M omega. There was also a significant prolongation of the slow membrane time constant in neurons of injured cortex (19.4 ms) as opposed to that in control cells (12.2 ms), suggesting that a change in specific resistivity or capacitance contributed to the higher RNS. 7. The relationship between adapted spike frequency and applied current (f-I slope) was steeper in layer V neurons from injured cortical slices (44.3 Hz/nA) than in normal layer V cells (28.2 Hz/nA).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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