Effects of hippocampal high-frequency electrical stimulation in memory formation and their association with amino acid tissue content and release in normal rats



Hippocampal high frequency electrical stimulation (HFS) at 130 Hz has been proposed as a therapeutical strategy to control neurological disorders such as intractable temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE). This study was carried out to determine the effects of hippocampal HFS on the memory process and the probable involvement of amino acids. Using the autoshaping task, we found that animals receiving hippocampal HFS showed augmented short-term, but not long-term memory formation, an effect blocked by bicuculline pretreatment and associated with enhanced tissue levels of amino acids in hippocampus. In addition, microdialysis experiments revealed high extracellular levels of glutamate, aspartate, glycine, taurine, and alanine during the application of hippocampal HFS. In contrast, GABA release augmented during HFS and remained elevated for more than 1 h after the stimulation was ended. HFS had minimal effects on glutamine release. The present results suggest that HFS has an activating effect on specific amino acids in normal hippocampus that may be involved in the enhanced short-term memory formation. These data further provide experimental support for the concept that hippocampus may be a promising target for focal stimulation to treat intractable seizures in humans. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., Inc.