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Epilepsy Res. 1995 Sep;22(1):43-51.

Impairment of intracortical GABAergic inhibition in a rat model of absence epilepsy.

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Institute of Physiology, Department of Neurophysiology, Berlin, Germany.


The WAG/Rij rat strain is characterized in its EEG by the manifestation of spike-wave discharges which resemble in their spontaneous appearance and pharmacological sensitivity the absence epilepsy observed in humans. In order to test the hypothesis whether cellular intrinsic membrane and/or synaptic network properties in the neocortex are modified in this form of epilepsy, we analyzed with extra- and intracellular recording techniques the functional status of neocortical slices obtained from adult epileptic WAG/Rij rats and compared them with the data acquired from non-epileptic control Wistar rats. Intrinsic membrane properties, like resting membrane potential, neuronal input resistance and basic cellular firing characteristics, did not differ between these two strains. However, the analysis of extra- and intracellularly recorded synaptic responses revealed an intracortical hyperexcitability which was accompanied by a significant reduction in the efficiency of GABAergic inhibition. Our data indicate that the imbalance between intracortical excitatory and inhibitory mechanisms may at least contribute to the expression and augmentation of spike-wave discharges in epileptic WAG/Rij rats.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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