Propagation dynamics of epileptiform activity acutely induced by bicuculline in the hippocampal-parahippocampal region of the isolated guinea pig brain

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Purpose: Aim of the study is to investigate the involvement of parahippocampal subregions in the generation and in the propagation of focal epileptiform discharges in an acute model of seizure generation in the temporal lobe induced by arterial application of bicuculline in the in vitro isolated guinea pig brain preparation. Methods: Electrophysiological recordings were simultaneously performed with single electrodes and multichannel silicon probes in the entorhinal, perirhinal, and piriform cortices and in the area CA1 of the hippocampus of the in vitro isolated guinea pig brain. Interictal and ictal epileptiform discharges restricted to the temporal region were induced by a brief (3-5 min) arterial perfusion of the GABAA receptor antagonist, bicuculline methiodide (50 μM). Current source density analysis of laminar field profiles performed with the silicon probes was carried out at different sites to establish network interactions responsible for the generation of epileptiform potentials. Nonlinear regression analysis was conducted on extracellular recordings during ictal onset in order to quantify the degree of interaction between fast activities generated at different sites, as well as time delays. Results: Experiments were performed in 31 isolated guinea pig brains. Bicuculline-induced interictal and ictal epileptiform activities that showed variability of spatial propagation and time course in the olfactory-temporal region. The most commonly observed pattern (n = 23) was characterized by the initial appearance of interictal spikes (ISs) in the piriform cortex (PC), which propagated to the lateral entorhinal region. Independent and asynchronous preictal spikes originated in the entorhinal cortex (EC)/hippocampus and progressed into ictal fast discharges (around 25 Hz) restricted to the entorhinal/hippocampal region. The local generation of fast activity was verified and confirmed both by CSD and phase shift analysis performed on laminar profiles. Fast activity was followed by synchronous afterdischarges that propagated to the perirhinal cortex (PRC) (but not to the PC). Within 1-9 min, the ictal discharge ceased and a postictal period of depression occurred, after which periodic ISs in the PC resumed. Unlike preictal ISs, postictal ISs propagated to the PRC. Conclusions: Several studies proposed that reciprocal connections between the entorhinal and the PRC are under a very efficient inhibitory control (1). We report that ISs determined by acute bicuculline treatment in the isolated guinea pig brain progress from the PC to the hippocampus/EC just before ictal onset. Ictal discharges are characterized by a peculiar pattern of fast activity that originates from the entorhinal/hippocampal region and only secondarily propagates to the PRC. Postictal propagation of ISs to the PRC occured exclusively when an ictal discharge was generated in the hippocampal/entorhinal region. The results suggest that reiteration of ictal events may promote changes in propagation pattern of epileptiform discharges that could act as trigger elements in the development of temporal lobe epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1914-1925
Number of pages12
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005


  • Bicuculline
  • Current source density
  • Entorhinal cortex
  • Epileptogenesis
  • Perirhinal cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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