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Brain Res. 1987 Mar 3;405(1):68-79.

Intracellular recordings in pericruciate neurons during spike and wave discharges of feline generalized penicillin epilepsy.


Concurrent EEG and intracellular recordings from pericruciate neurons of cats obtained before and after i.m. injection of penicillin inducing the syndrome of feline generalized penicillin epilepsy (FGPE) characterized by spike and wave (SW) discharge in the EEG, display large excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) at the time of the EEG 'spike' which alternate with hyperpolarizing potentials occurring in coincidence with the EEG 'wave' component of the SW complex. The large EPSPs trigger discharges of single or multiple high-frequency action potentials which do not show a progressive decrement in amplitude nor an appreciable increase in duration. These bursts thus differ in some respects from typical paroxysmal depolarization shifts. The hyperpolarizing potentials show an early phase which is reversed by intracellular Cl- injection or diffusion and thus behaves like a classical inhibitory postsynaptic potential (IPSP). The late phase is unaffected by Cl-. Hyperpolarizing potentials of pericruciate neurons induced by antidromic activation of the cerebral peduncle (CP) or by direct cortical stimulation are not altered after i.m. injections of penicillin at doses sufficient to induce generalized SW discharge. The early phase of hyperpolarization both before and after i.m. penicillin is reversed by intracellular Cl- injection or diffusion, the late phase remains unchanged. The early phase thus represents a classical IPSP, which does not appear to be affected by the low brain penicillin concentrations sufficient to induce generalized SW discharge. It is concluded that this form of epileptic discharge cannot be attributed to blockage of phasic (presumably somatic) postsynaptic inhibition by penicillin. These results indicate that to regard all forms of epileptic discharge as the consequence of a blockage of gamma-aminobutyric acid-mediated phasic postsynaptic inhibition acting on the soma represents an unduly restrictive view of epileptogenesis.

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