, Volume 72, Issue 3, pp 191-200

Anti-epileptic effects of focal micro-injection of excitatory amino acid antagonists

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The role of excitatory synaptic activity at various brain regions in the development and spread of seizure activity has been investigated by the focal microinjection of 2-amino-7-phosphono-heptanoate (2-APH), a selective antagonist at the N-methyl-D-aspartate preferring receptor, orγ-D-glutamylaminomethyl sulphonate (GAMS), a partially selective antagonist at the kainate receptor. In genetically epilepsy prone rats the seizure response to a loud sound is most effectively suppressed by focal injections of 2-APH, 0.1–1.0 nmol, in the inferior colliculus. Protection is also seen after injections of 2-APH, 25 nmoles, in the substantia nigra (pars reticulata) or the midbrain reticular formation.

Motor limbic seizures induced by pilocarpine, 380 mg/kg intraperitoneally, are prevented by prior injection into the substantia nigra, pars reticulata, or the entopeduncular nucleus, of 2-APH, 10 nmol or 10 pmol, respectively. Similar protection follows the injection of 2-APH, 1–5 pmol in the piriform cortex.

The convulsant effects of pilocarpine are also blocked by the focal injection of GAMS, 10 nmol in the entopeduncular nucleus.

This experimental approach can indicate critical sites at which seizure activity is initiated in particular models (e.g., inferior colliculus in sound-induced seizures, and piriform cortex in limbic seizures) and the pathways controlling seizure expression, such as the basal ganglia outputs. It also identifies specific receptors at which anticonvulsant drugs may operate.