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Int Rev Neurobiol. 2007;81:59-84.

An in vitro model of stroke-induced epilepsy: elucidation of the roles of glutamate and calcium in the induction and maintenance of stroke-induced epileptogenesis.

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1
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia 23298, USA.

Abstract

Stroke is a major risk factor for developing acquired epilepsy (AE). Although the underlying mechanisms of ischemia-induced epileptogenesis are not well understood, glutamate has been found to be associated with both epileptogenesis and ischemia-induced injury in several research models. This chapter discusses the development of an in vitro model of epileptogenesis induced by glutamate injury in hippocampal neurons, as found in a clinical stroke, and the implementation of this model of stroke-induced AE to evaluate calcium's role in the induction and maintenance of epileptogenesis. To monitor the acute effects of glutamate on neurons and chronic alterations in neuronal excitability up to 8 days after glutamate exposure, whole-cell current-clamp electrophysiology was employed. Various durations and concentrations of glutamate were applied to primary hippocampal cultures. A single 30-min, 5-microM glutamate exposure produced a subset of neurons that died or had a stroke-like injury, and a larger population of injured neurons that survived. Neurons that survived the injury manifested spontaneous, recurrent, epileptiform discharges (SREDs) in neural networks characterized by paroxysmal depolarizing shifts (PDSs) and high-frequency spike firing that persisted for the life of the culture. The neuronal injury produced in this model was evaluated by determining the magnitude of the prolonged, reversible membrane depolarization, loss of synaptic activity, and neuronal swelling. The permanent epileptiform phenotype expressed as SREDs that resulted from glutamate injury was found to be dependent on the presence of extracellular calcium. The "epileptic" neurons manifested elevated intracellular calcium levels when compared to control neurons, independent of neuronal activity and seizure discharge, demonstrating that alterations in calcium homeostatic mechanisms occur in association with stroke-induced epilepsy. Findings from this investigation present the first in vitro model of glutamate injury-induced epileptogenesis that may help elucidate some of the mechanisms that underlie stroke-induced epilepsy.

PMID:
17433918
DOI:
10.1016/S0074-7742(06)81005-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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