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Epilepsia. 2002;43 Suppl 5:54-60.

Dynamic changes of status epilepticus-induced neuronal degeneration in the mediodorsal nucleus of the thalamus during postnatal development of the rat.

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Institute of Physiology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Videnská 1083, Prague 4, CZ-142 20, Czech Republic.



Status epilepticus (SE) was previously found to induce damage in the mediodorsal nucleus of the thalamus (MD) in both adult and immature rats. This study was designed to describe age-related changes of SE-induced neuronal degeneration in this part of the brain.


SE was induced by LiCl/pilocarpine in five age groups of rats (P12-P25). Distribution of degenerating neurons was studied at various time intervals from 4 h up to 1 week using Fluoro Jade B (FJB) staining. For P12 and P25 rats, an interval of 3 months was added.


Damaged neurons were found in all age groups during a 1-week period after SE. Patterns of neuronal degeneration, however, changed in an age-related manner. In animals at P12 and P15, FJB-labeled neurons were located in the central and lateral segment of the MD. In the P18 group, degenerating neurons occurred in all three segments of the MD, with a prevalence in central and lateral subdivisions. In contrast, in P21 and P25 rats, FJB-labeled neurons were predominantly located in the central and medial segments. Degenerating neurons were still present 3 months after SE in the medial segment in P25 animals, whereas no labeled neurons were detected in the P12 group at this time.


Our data demonstrate that the pattern of neuronal degeneration in MD is mainly related to age at SE onset. In addition to damage occurring during the acute phase of SE, a population of degenerating neurons was detected in P25 animals during the chronic period 3 months after SE.

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