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Brain Res. 1998 Sep 28;806(2):186-95.

Effects of applied currents on spontaneous epileptiform activity induced by low calcium in the rat hippocampus.

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Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Neuroscience, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.


It is known that both applied and endogenous electrical fields can modulate neuronal activity. In this study, we have demonstrated that anodic current injections can inhibit spontaneous epileptiform events in the absence of synaptic transmission. Activity was induced with low-Ca2+ (0.2 mM) artificial cerebrospinal fluid (ACSF) and detected with a voltage threshold detector. At the onset of an event, a current was injected into the stratum pyramidale via a tungsten electrode positioned within 150 micron of the recording site. Data was recorded with a glass pipette electrode. The results show that spontaneous epileptiform activity can be fully suppressed by subthreshold anodic currents with an average amplitude of 3.9 microA and a minimum amplitude of 1 microA. In addition, we observed that some events could be blocked by current pulses with shorter durations than the duration of the event itself. The possibility that increased tissue resistance could contribute to the efficacy of the currents was tested by measuring the step-potential increase evoked by anodic current injections. The data show a significant increase in the amplitude of the evoked potential after introduction of a low-Ca2+ medium, suggesting that tissue resistance is increasing. These results indicate that low-amplitude, subthreshold current pulses are sufficient to block epileptiform activity in a low-Ca2+ environment. The increased tissue resistance induced by sustained exposure to a low-Ca2+ medium could contribute to the low current amplitudes required to block the epileptiform events.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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