Limbic seizure-induced changes in extracellular amino acid levels in the hippocampal formation: a microdialysis study of freely moving rats


*Institute of Neuropathology & PharmaBiotec Research Center, University of Copenhagen, Frederik V's vej 11, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark


Limbic seizure-activity was induced by injecting kainic acid into the amygdala of rats. Extracellular levels of amino acids were monitored by microdialysis in the hippocampus. No changes were detected in the levels of glutamate and aspartate. The level of glycine also remained unchanged, whereas GABA showed an increase of approximately 35%. The level of glutamine decreased by approximately 30%, and that of serine by approximately 20%. The results indicate that increased turnover may exist in the glutamate transmitter pool. In addition, impairment of GABA-release seems not to be a pathogenetic factor in seizure-induced hippocampal neuron loss. It is concluded that even during sustained seizure-activity, the extracellular level of glutamate, is maintained within narrow limits. A proposed index for excitatory neurodegeneration, glutamate x glycine/GABA, was found to be decreased in this seizure model. We therefore suggest that seizure-induced neuron death is not reflected by alterations in the extracellular levels of glutamate and aspartate, thought to act as direct neurotoxins.