Epsztein J - Milh M - Bihi RI - Jorquera I - Ben-Ari Y - Represa A - Crépel V


The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience


Ischemic strokes are often associated with late-onset epilepsy, but the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. In the hippocampus, which is one of the regions most sensitive to ischemic challenge, global ischemia induces a complete loss of CA1 pyramidal neurons, whereas the resistant CA3 pyramidal neurons display a long-term hyperexcitability several months after the insult. The mechanisms of this long-term hyperexcitability remain unknown despite its clinical implication. Using chronic in vivo EEG recordings and in vitro field recordings in slices, we now report spontaneous interictal epileptiform discharges in the CA3 area of the hippocampus from post-ischemic rats several months after the insult. Whole-cell recordings from CA3 pyramidal neurons, revealed a permanent reduction in the frequency of spontaneous and miniature GABAergic IPSCs and a parallel increase in the frequency of spontaneous and miniature glutamatergic postsynaptic currents. Global ischemia also induced a dramatic loss of GABAergic interneurons and terminals together with an increase in glutamatergic terminals in the CA3 area of the hippocampus. Altogether, our results show a morpho-functional reorganization in the CA3 network several months after global ischemia, resulting in a net shift in the excitatory-inhibitory balance toward excitation that may constitute a substrate for the generation of epileptiform discharges in the post-ischemic hippocampus.

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