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Alterations in glutamatergic transmission are postulated to be important in kindling and epilepsy. The levels of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy- 5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA) receptor subunits (GluR1, 2, and 4) were compared in amygdala-kindled and sham-operated animals using subunit-specific antibodies and quantitative western blotting. Four limbic regions were examined: limbic forebrain, piriform cortex/amygdala, hippocampus, and entorhinal cortex. When subunit levels were examined 24 h after the last stage 5 seizure, levels of GluR2 were found to be selectively reduced in limbic forebrain (30%) and piriform cortex/amygdala (25%), with no changes in other regions examined. In addition, no changes in the other subunits were observed in any region. The decrease in GluR2 that was observed in kindled animals at 24 h was no longer present at 1 week and 1 month after the last stage 5 seizure. Because the GluR2 subunit uniquely determines the calcium permeability of these receptors and because the piriform cortex has been implicated as a source of excitatory drive for limbic seizures, reduced GluR2 expression may be important in increasing neuronal excitability in kindling-induced epilepsy, or may reflect a compensatory mechanism resulting from kindling.
The effects of depletion of somatostatin in the region of the retrorubral field on in vivo tyrosine hydroxylation in the A8 cell group were assessed. Local injections of cysteamine into the central amygdaloid nucleus, source of a somatostatin input to the A8 cell group region, or directly into the retrorubral field resulted in an increase in in vivo tyrosine hydroxylation in the A8 cell group. Levels of somatostatin-like immunoreactivity in the retrorubral field were decreased by approximately 50% by the cysteamine treatment. These data suggest that somatostatin may hold A8 dopamine neurons under tonic inhibition.
Kindling is a use-dependent form of synaptic plasticity and a widely used model of epilepsy. Although kindling has been widely studied, the molecular mechanisms underlying induction of this phenomenon are not well understood. We determined the effect of amygdala kindling on protein kinase C (PKC) activity in various regions of rat brain. Kindling stimulation markedly elevated basal (Ca(2+)-independent) and Ca(2+)-stimulated phosphorylation of an endogenous PKC substrate (which we have termed P17) in homogenates of dentate gyrus, assayed 2 h after kindling stimulation. The increase in P17 phosphorylation appeared to be due at least in part to persistent PKC activation, as basal PKC activity assayed in vitro using an exogenous peptide substrate was increased in kindled dentate gyrus 2 h after the last kindling stimulation. A similar increase in basal PKC activity was observed in dentate gyrus 2 h after the first kindling stimulation. These results document a kindling-associated persistent PKC activation and suggest that the increased activity of PKC could play a role in the induction of the kindling effect.
Kindling induces long-term adaptations in neuronal function that lead to a decreased threshold for induction of seizures. In the present study, the influence of amygdala kindling on levels of mRNA for the immediate-early genes (IEGs) c-fos, c-jun, and NGF1-A were examined both before and after an acute electroconvulsive seizure (ECS). Although amygdala kindling did not significantly influence resting levels of c-fos mRNA in cerebral cortex, ECS-stimulated levels of c-fos mRNA (examined 45 min after ECS) were approximately twofold greater in the cerebral cortex of kindled rats relative to sham-treated controls. The influence of kindling on IEG expression was dependent on the time course of kindling, as ECS-stimulated levels of c-fos mRNA were not significantly increased in stage 2 kindled animals. ECS-stimulated levels of c-jun and NGF1-A mRNA were also significantly increased in cerebral cortex of kindled rats relative to sham-treated controls. The influence of kindling on IEG expression was long-lasting because an acute ECS stimulus significantly elevated levels of c-fos and c-jun mRNA in the cerebral cortex of animals that were kindled 5 months previously. In contrast to these effects in cerebral cortex, kindling did not influence ECS-stimulated levels of c-fos mRNA in hippocampus. Finally, immunohistochemical studies revealed lamina-specific changes in the cerebral cortex.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)