Author(s): Naylor DE, Liu H, Wasterlain CG
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Abstract During status epilepticus (SE), GABAergic mechanisms fail and seizures become self-sustaining and pharmacoresistant. During lithiumpilocarpine-induced SE, our studies of postsynaptic GABA(A) receptors in dentate gyrus granule cells show a reduction in the amplitude of miniature IPSCs (mIPSCs). Anatomical studies show a reduction in the colocalization of the beta2/beta3 and gamma2 subunits of GABA(A) receptors with the presynaptic marker synaptophysin and an increase in the proportion of those subunits in the interior of dentate granule cells and other hippocampal neurons with SE. Unlike synaptic mIPSCs, the amplitude of extrasynaptic GABA(A) tonic currents is augmented during SE. Mathematical modeling suggests that the change of mIPSCs with SE reflects a decrease in the number of functional postsynaptic GABA(A) receptors. It also suggests that increases in extracellular [GABA] during SE can account for the tonic current changes and can affect postsynaptic receptor kinetics with a loss of paired-pulse inhibition. GABA exposure mimics the effects of SE on mIPSC and tonic GABA(A) current amplitudes in granule cells, consistent with the model predictions. These results provide a potential mechanism for the inhibitory loss that characterizes initiation of SE and for the pharmacoresistance to benzodiazepines, as a reduction of available functional GABA(A) postsynaptic receptors. Novel therapies for SE might be directed toward prevention or reversal of these losses.
This article was published in J Neurosci
and referenced in Journal of Perioperative & Critical Intensive Care Nursing