Interictal potentials are commonly observed between seizures in human epilepsies and in animal models of epilepsy. It is uncertain whether interictal spiking in partial epilepsies is causally related with the onset of an ictal discharge. To analyze the reciprocal correlation between interictal and ictal epileptiform events, we performed extracellular recordings in the limbic system of the in vitro isolated guinea pig brain preparation. Arterial perfusion of bicuculline (50μM) in vitro consistently induced a focal ictal discharge in the hippocampal-entorhinal region that in one third of the experiments was associated with periodic interictal spikes in the piriform cortex. In the absence of active interictal spiking, the piriform cortex was secondarily invaded by the ictal discharge initiated in the hippocampal-entorhinal region, whereas no secondary ictal entrainment was observed in the presence of periodic piriform cortex spikes at circa 0.1 to 0.2Hz. Similarly, ictal events never occurred when arterial perfusion of bicuculline was preceded by a local injection of the same drug in the piriform cortex, a procedure that induces a sustained interictal spiking. A reduced responsiveness to incoming paroxysmal discharges generated in the hippocampus was observed during the interval between two interictal spikes in the piriform cortex.
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