Contribution of GABAAand GABABReceptors to Thalamic Neuronal Activity during Spontaneous Absence Seizures in Rats

Rainer Staak, Hans-Christian Pape
2001 Journal of Neuroscience  
The contribution of GABAergic mechanisms in thalamic relay nuclei to spike and wave discharges (SWDs) during spontaneous seizures was assessed using the WAG/Rij strain of rats, an established genetic model of absence epilepsy, in combination with single-unit recordings and microiontophoretic techniques in the ventrobasal thalamic complex in vivo. Spontaneous SWDs occurring on the electroencephalogram at 5-9 Hz were associated with burst firing in thalamocortical neurons, which was phase-locked
more » ... h was phase-locked with the spike component. Microiontophoretic application of the GABA A receptor antagonist bicuculline significantly increased the magnitude of SWD-related firing in all tested cells. Application of the GABA B receptor antagonist CGP 55845A exerted a statistically insignificant modulatory effect on neuronal activity during spontaneous SWDs but significantly attenuated the bicuculline-evoked aggravation of SWD-related firing. The data indicate that, in thalamocortical neurons, (1) GABA A receptor-mediated events are recruited with each SWD, (2) SWD-related activity can be evoked with no significant contribution of GABA B receptors, and (3) blockade of GABA A receptors potentiates SWD-related activity, presumably through an indirect effect mediated through GABA B receptors. These results vote against a predominant or even exclusive contribution of GABA B receptors to spontaneous SWDs in thalamic relay nuclei in the WAG/Rij strain, but rather point to a critical role of GABA A receptor activation. This conclusion is in support of the view that the two subtypes of GABA receptors play a differential role in fast (5-10 Hz) and slow (3 Hz) spikewave paroxysms observed during absence seizures.
doi:10.1523/jneurosci.21-04-01378.2001 pmid:11160409 fatcat:nkakoiylxbgnfdtjljw5vjjkhu