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Neurosci Res Suppl. 1990;13:S65-74.

Seizure-like activity and glutamate receptors in hippocampal neurons in culture.

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Neurology Department, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.


Hippocampal neurons that were grown for prolonged periods in the continuous presence of agents that interfere with synaptic transmission, especially excitatory synaptic transmission, appeared to become seizure-prone. Washout of the synaptic blocking agents, that had been continuously present for several weeks to several months, caused the population of neurons to produce an abnormal and intense electrical activity. This consisted of two major components: spontaneously arising phasic responses that closely resembled paroxysmal depolarization shifts and, less frequently, slowly rising depolarizations similar to the sustained depolarizations observed during ictus-like episodes in intact cortex or cortical slices. We describe here observations on the role of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and non-NMDA types of glutamate receptors in the generation of these activities.

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