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Brain Res. 2012 Mar 2;1441:1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2011.12.050. Epub 2012 Jan 3.

Autoradiographic evidence for the transmeningeal diffusion of muscimol into the neocortex in rats.

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NYU Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, New York University School of Medicine/NYU Langone Medical Center, 223 East 34th Street, New York, NY 10016, USA.


Electrophysiological and behavioral studies have demonstrated that muscimol administered through the cranial meninges can prevent focal neocortical seizures. It was proposed that transmeningeal muscimol delivery can be used for the treatment of intractable focal neocortical epilepsy. However, it has not been proved that muscimol administered via the transmeningeal route can penetrate into the neocortex. The purpose of the present study was to solve this problem by using combined autoradiography-histology methods. Four rats were implanted with epidural cups over the parietal cortices. A 50 μL mixture of [³H] muscimol and unlabeled muscimol with a final concentration of 1.0mM was delivered through each cup on the dura mater. After a 1-hour exposure, the muscimol solution was removed and replaced with formalin to trap the transmeningeally diffused molecules. Then the whole brain was fixed transcardially, sectioned, with the sections subjected to autoradiography and thionine counterstaining. Results showed that (1) [³H] muscimol diffused through the meninges into the cortical tissue underlying the epidural cup in all rats. (2) [³H] muscimol-related autoradiography grains were distributed in all six neocortical layers. (3) [³H] muscimol-related autoradiography grains were localized to the cortical area underneath the epidural delivery site and were absent in the cerebral cortical white matter and other brain structures. This study provided evidence that muscimol can be delivered via the transmeningeal route into the neocortical tissue in a spatially controlled manner. The finding further supports the rationale of using transmeningeal muscimol for the treatment of intractable focal neocortical epilepsy.

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