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J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2007 Jun;66(6):491-504.

Cytomegalic interneurons: a new abnormal cell type in severe pediatric cortical dysplasia.

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1
Mental Retardation Research Center, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA.

Abstract

A defining histopathologic feature of Taylor-type cortical dysplasia (CD) is the presence of cytomegalic neurons and balloon cells. Most cytomegalic neurons appear to be pyramidal-shaped and glutamatergic. The present study demonstrates the presence of cytomegalic GABAergic interneurons in a subset of pediatric patients with severe CD. Cortical tissue samples from children with mild, severe, and non-CD pathologies were examined using morphologic and electrophysiologic techniques. By using in vitro slices, cytomegalic cells with characteristics consistent with interneurons were found in 6 of 10 patients with severe CD. Biocytin labeling demonstrated that cytomegalic interneurons had more dendrites than normal-appearing interneurons. Whole-cell patch clamp recordings showed that cytomegalic interneurons had increased membrane capacitance and time constant compared with normal-appearing interneurons. They also displayed signs of cellular hyperexcitability, evidenced by increased firing rates, decreased action potential inactivation, and the occurrence of spontaneous membrane depolarizations. Single-cell reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry for GABAergic markers provided further evidence that these cells were probably cytomegalic interneurons. The pathophysiologic significance of GABAergic cytomegalic interneurons in severe CD tissue is unknown, but they could inhibit glutamatergic cytomegalic pyramidal neurons, or contribute to the synchronization of neuronal networks and the propagation of ictal activity in a subset of pediatric patients with severe CD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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