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Kindling induces transient fast inhibition in the dentate gyrus–CA3 projection


: Dr Rafael Gutiérrez, as above.


The granule cells of the dentate gyrus (DG) send a strong glutamatergic projection, the mossy fibre tract, toward the hippocampal CA3 field, where it excites pyramidal cells and neighbouring inhibitory interneurons. Despite their excitatory nature, granule cells contain small amounts of GAD (glutamate decarboxylase), the main synthetic enzyme for the inhibitory transmitter GABA. Chronic temporal lobe epilepsy results in transient upregulation of GAD and GABA in granule cells, giving rise to the speculation that following overexcitation, mossy fibres exert an inhibitory effect by release of GABA. We therefore stimulated the DG and recorded synaptic potentials from CA3 pyramidal cells in brain slices from kindled and control rats. In both preparations, DG stimulation caused excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP)/inhibitory postsynaptic potential (IPSP) sequences. These potentials could be completely blocked by glutamate receptor antagonists in control rats, while in the kindled rats, a bicuculline-sensitive fast IPSP remained, with an onset latency similar to that of the control EPSP. Interestingly, this IPSP disappeared 1 month after the last seizure. When synaptic responses were evoked by high-frequency stimulation, EPSPs in normal rats readily summate to evoke action potentials. In slices from kindled rats, a summation of IPSPs overrides that of the EPSPs and reduces the probability of evoking action potentials. Our data show for the first time that kindling induces functionally relevant activity-dependent expression of fast inhibition onto pyramidal cells, coming from the DG, that can limit CA3 excitation in a frequency-dependent manner.

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