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Dev Neurosci. 1999 Nov;21(3-5):365-73.

Synaptic responses of neurons in heterotopic gray matter in an animal model of cortical dysgenesis.

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Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Fort Collins, CO, USA.


Neuronal heterotopia is a malformation of cortical development that is closely associated with epilepsy in humans. Despite emerging interest in the structure and function of the heterotopic cortex, little is known about the membrane properties and synaptic connections of these displaced neurons. We used whole-cell patch-clamp and extracellular field potential recordings from heterotopic neurons in slices from young adult rats with experimentally induced cortical dysgenesis to determine if local synaptic connections were present in nodular heterotopia. Complex synaptic responses were observed after electrical stimulation of adjacent white matter. The results suggest that neurons in nodular heterotopic gray matter can form local excitatory and inhibitory synaptic connections and may participate in epileptiform events.

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