Thalamocortical relationships and network synchronization in a new genetic model "in mirror" for absence epilepsy.

Abstract : Electroencephalographic generalized spike and wave discharges (SWD), the hallmark of human absence seizures, are generated in thalamocortical networks. However, the potential alterations in these networks in terms of the efficacy of the reciprocal synaptic activities between the cortex and the thalamus are not known in this pathology. Here, the efficacy of these reciprocal connections is assessed in vitro in thalamocortical slices obtained from BS/Orl mice, which is a new genetic model of absence epilepsy. These mice show spontaneous SWD, and their features can be compared to that of BR/Orl mice, which are free of SWD. In addition, since gap junctions may modulate the efficacy of these connections, their implications in pharmacologically-induced epileptiform discharges were studied in the same slices. The thalamus and neocortex were independently stimulated and the electrically-evoked responses in both structures were recorded from the same slice. The synaptic efficacy of thalamocortical and corticothalamic connections were assessed by measuring the dynamic range of synaptic field potential changes in response to increasing stimulation strengths. The connection efficacy was weaker in epileptic mice however, this decrease in efficacy was more pronounced in thalamocortical afferents, thus introducing an imbalance in the reciprocal connections between the cortex and thalamus. However, short-term facilitation of the thalamocortical responses were increased in epileptic mice compared to non-epileptic animals. These features may favor occurrence of rhythmical activities in thalamocortical networks. In addition, carbenoxolone (a gap junction blocker) decreased the cumulative duration of 4-aminopyridine-induced ictal-like activities, with a slower time course in epileptic mice. However, the 4-aminopyridine-induced GABA-dependent negative potentials, which appeared to trigger the ictal-like activities, remained. Our results show that the balance of the reciprocal connections between the thalamus and cortex is altered in favor of the corticothalamic connections in epileptic mice, and suggest that gap junctions mediate a stronger cortical synchronization in this strain.
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Brain Research, Elsevier, 2013, 1525, pp.39-52. 〈10.1016/j.brainres.2013.05.044〉
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Sylvain Gigout, Jacques Louvel, Daisy Rinaldi, Benoît Martin, René Pumain. Thalamocortical relationships and network synchronization in a new genetic model "in mirror" for absence epilepsy.. Brain Research, Elsevier, 2013, 1525, pp.39-52. 〈10.1016/j.brainres.2013.05.044〉. 〈inserm-00871589〉

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