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Ann Neurol. 1991 May;29(5):529-41.

Altered excitatory and inhibitory amino acid receptor binding in hippocampus of patients with temporal lobe epilepsy.

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Department of Neurology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.


We examined binding to excitatory amino acid and inhibitory amino acid receptors in frozen hippocampal sections prepared from surgical specimens resected from 8 individuals with medically refractory temporal lobe epilepsy. The excitatory receptors studied included N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), strychnine-insensitive glycine, phencyclidine, and quisqualate. The inhibitory receptors studied were gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) and benzodiazepine. Excitatory and inhibitory amino acid receptor binding were differentially altered in the patients with temporal lobe epilepsy in comparison to 8 age-comparable autopsy control subjects, and changes in receptor binding were regionally selective in four areas. Binding to phencyclidine receptors associated with the NMDA channel was reduced by 35 to 70% in all regions in the hippocampi of the patients. In contrast, binding to the NMDA recognition site and its associated glycine modulatory site was elevated by 20 to 110% in the cornu ammonis (CA) 1 area and dentate gyrus of the hippocampus of the patients. Binding to these sites was unaffected in area CA4. Binding to the quisqualate-type excitatory amino acid receptor was unchanged in all regions except the stratum lacunosum moleculare CA1, where it was increased by 63%. GABAA and benzodiazepine receptor binding was reduced by 20 to 60% in CA1 and CA4, but unchanged in dentate gyrus. The data indicate that excitatory and inhibitory amino acid receptors are altered in the hippocampus of patients with temporal lobe epilepsy.

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