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Neuroscience. 1997 Dec;81(4):927-35.

Metabotropic glutamate receptor activation modulates epileptiform activity in the hippocampus.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University of Wisconsin Medical School Madison, William S. Middleton VA Hospital 53705, USA.


Synchronous neuronal activity that resembles interictal epileptiform discharges occurs in hippocampal slices if there is an imbalance of inhibitory and excitatory synaptic activity. Antagonists of the GABAA receptor and agonists of the ionotropic glutamate receptors are convulsants that produce epileptiform discharges in hippocampal slices. We evaluated the effects of activation of the metabotropic class of glutamate receptors on epileptiform activity produced by convulsants. The metabotropic glutamate agonist (+/-)-1-aminocyclopentane-trans-1,3-dicarboxylic acid (ACPD, 30-100 microM) accelerated the rate of interictal epileptiform discharges produced by either bicuculline methiodide or 4-aminopyridine and had minimal effects on discharges produced by high [K+]o. The increase in rate was associated with a significant decrease in the amplitude and duration of the afterhyperpolarization that follows the paroxysmal depolarizing shift, the intracellular correlate of the interictal epileptiform discharge. A modest increase in input resistance (approximately 10%) accompanied the rate increase. beta-adrenergic or muscarinic agonists, neurotransmitters that also decrease the afterhyperpolarization, acted synergistically with ACPD (100 microM) to increase the control rate of bicuculline-induced interictal discharges by more than eight-fold. Antagonists of beta-adrenergic or muscarinic receptors reduced, but did not block, the acceleration of bicuculline-induced discharge rate produced by 30 microM ACPD. The results show that metabotropic glutamate receptors enhance the rate of interictal epileptiform discharges produced by bicuculline or 4-aminopyridine. ACPD had no effect on interictal epileptiform activity induced by high [K+]o, a finding that may indicate that in high [K+]o conditions the metabotropic receptor is activated or that the effects of high [K+]o already reduced the effect of depolarizing currents that are enhanced by ACPD. The acceleration in interictal discharge rate was associated with a reduction in the afterhyperpolarization that follows the paroxysmal depolarizing shift and this action appears to be important in determining the synchronization of neurons and the rate of interictal epileptiform discharges. Furthermore, interaction between mGluR activation and either muscarinic or beta-adrenergic activation may be important for seizure generation.

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