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Dev Neurosci. 1999 Nov;21(3-5):385-92.

Abnormal connections in the malformed cortex of rats with prenatal treatment with methylazoxymethanol may support hyperexcitability.

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Inserm U29, Hôpital de Port-Royal, Paris, France.


Prenatal treatment with methylazoxymethanol (MAM) in rats generates animals with a diffuse cortical malformation associated with hyperexcitability. These alterations are reminiscent of the cortical malformations associated with epilepsy in children. We hypothesised that one of the mechanisms supporting hyperexcitability in MAM rats could be the presence of abnormal cortical connections in the malformed cortex. Using a variety of anatomical techniques, we provide evidences for three types of such abnormal connections: (i) tangential bundles of corticocortical fibres in and below the neocortical molecular layer; (ii) partial deafferentation of neocortical heterotopias by afferent cortical fibres whatever their location; (iii) exuberant innervation of hippocampal CA3 pyramidal cells by mossy fibres that form ectopic mossy boutons on their basal dendrites. We conclude that these abnormal intrinsic cortical connections may support the propagation of paroxymal activity in the neocortex of MAM-treated rats.

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