Excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic currents in a rat model of epileptogenic microgyria.

Journal of neurophysiology

PubMedID: 15385597

Jacobs KM, Prince DA. Excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic currents in a rat model of epileptogenic microgyria. J Neurophysiol. 2005;93(2):687-96.
Developmental cortical malformations are common in patients with intractable epilepsy; however, mechanisms contributing to this epileptogenesis are currently poorly understood. We previously characterized hyperexcitability in a rat model that mimics the histopathology of human 4-layered microgyria. Here we examined inhibitory and excitatory postsynaptic currents in this model to identify functional alterations that might contribute to epileptogenesis associated with microgyria. We recorded isolated whole cell excitatory postsynaptic currents and GABA(A) receptor-mediated inhibitory currents (EPSCs and IPSCs) from layer V pyramidal neurons in the region previously shown to be epileptogenic (paramicrogyral area) and in homotopic control cortex. Epileptiform-like activity could be evoked in 60% of paramicrogyral (PMG) cells by local stimulation. The peak conductance of both spontaneous and evoked IPSCs was significantly larger in all PMG cells compared with controls. This difference in amplitude was not present after blockade of ionotropic glutamatergic currents or for miniature (m)IPSCs, suggesting that it was due to the excitatory afferent activity driving inhibitory neurons. This conclusion was supported by the finding that glutamate receptor antagonist application resulted in a significantly greater reduction in spontaneous IPSC frequency in one PMG cell group (PMG(E)) compared with control cells. The frequency of both spontaneous and miniature EPSCs was significantly greater in all PMG cells, suggesting that pyramidal neurons adjacent to a microgyrus receive more excitatory input than do those in control cortex. These findings suggest that there is an increase in numbers of functional excitatory synapses on both interneurons and pyramidal cells in the PMG cortex perhaps due to hyperinnervation by cortical afferents originally destined for the microgyrus proper.