Neocortical post-traumatic epileptogenesis is associated with loss of GABAergic neurons.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


J Neurotrauma, Volume 26, Issue 5, p.799-812 (2009)


Animals, Brain Injuries, Cats, Cell Death, Craniotomy, Electrophysiology, Epilepsy, Female, gamma-Aminobutyric Acid, Glutamate Decarboxylase, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Immunohistochemistry, Male, Membrane Potentials, Neocortex, Neurons, Seizures


<p>The subtle mechanisms of post-traumatic epileptogenesis remain unknown, although the incidence of chronic epilepsy after penetrating cortical wounds is high. Here, we investigated whether the increased frequency of seizures occurring within 6 weeks following partial deafferentation of the suprasylvian gyrus in cats is accompanied with a change in the ratio between the number of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. Immuno-histochemical labeling of all neurons with neuronal-specific nuclear protein (NeuN) antibody, and of the GABAergic inhibitory neurons with either gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) or glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD 65&67) antibodies, was performed on sections obtained from control and epileptic animals with chronically deafferented suprasylvian gyrus. Quantification of the labeled neurons was performed in control animals and at 2, 4, and 6 weeks following cortical deafferentation, in the suprasylvian and marginal gyri, both ipsi- and contra-lateral to the cortical trauma. In all epileptic animals, the neuronal loss was circumscribed to the deafferented suprasylvian gyrus. Inhibitory GABAergic neurons were particularly more sensitive to cortical deafferentation than excitatory ones, leading to a progressively increasing ratio between excitation and inhibition towards excitation, potentially explaining the increased propensity to seizures in chronic undercut cortex.</p>

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