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Hyperexcitability of intact neurons underlies acute development of trauma-related electrographic seizures in cats in vivo

Authors


: Dr I. Timofeev, as above.
E-mail: igor.timofeev@phs.ulaval.ca

Abstract

Cortical trauma can lead to development of electrographic paroxysmal activities. Current views of trauma-induced epileptogenesis suggest that chronic neuronal hyperexcitability and extensive morphological reorganization of the traumatized cortex are required for the generation of electrographic seizures. However, the mechanisms responsible for the initiation of electrographic seizures shortly after cortical injury are poorly understood. Here we show that, in the experimental model of partially deafferented (undercut) cortex, an increase in intrinsic and synaptic excitability of neurons in areas adjacent to the undercut cortex is sufficient for the generation of electrographic paroxysmal activity within few hours after partial cortical deafferentation. Locally increased and spatially restricted neuronal excitability arose from the increased incidence of intrinsically bursting neurons, enhanced intrinsic and synaptic neuronal responsiveness, and slight disinhibition. These mechanisms only operate in neurons located in the vicinity of partially deafferented sites because, after the cortical injury, partially deafferented neurons are mostly silent and hypoexcitable. Our results suggest that trauma-induced electrographic seizures first arise in cortical fields that are closest to the site of injury and such seizures do not require long-term neuronal reorganization.

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