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Epilepsy Res. 2006 Aug;70(2-3):161-71. Epub 2006 Jun 5.

Developmental changes in somatostatin-positive interneurons in a freeze-lesion model of epilepsy.

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Department of Neuroscience Division of Biology and Medicine, Brown University Providence, RI 02912, USA.


Somatostatin-expressing (SS) cells are inhibitory interneurons critical to the regulation of excitability in the cerebral cortex. It has been suggested in several animal models of epilepsy that the activity of these neurons reduces the occurrence and strength of epileptiform activity. The physiological properties of SS cells further support these hypotheses. Freeze lesions of neonatal rats serve as a model of human polymicrogyria, which is often characterized by severe seizures. Here we investigate the effects of neonatal freeze lesions on SS-expressing neurons by measuring their densities in control and lesioned hemispheres at two ages. We found that in late juveniles (P30-P32), SS-expressing neurons were depleted by 20% in areas adjacent to the freeze lesion, but at an earlier developmental age (P14-15), there was no significant loss. Since the deficit in SS-expressing neurons occurs well after the onset of epileptiform activity (P12-P18), we conclude that the death of these interneurons does not initiate hyperexcitability in this model.

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