Bethel Epilepsy Center Bethel

Mara, Germany

Bethel Epilepsy Center Bethel

Mara, Germany
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Graebenitz S.,University of Munster | Cerina M.,University of Munster | Lesting J.,University of Munster | Kedo O.,Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine | And 7 more authors.
Neuroscience | Year: 2017

Spontaneous epileptiform activity has previously been observed in lateral amygdala (LA) slices derived from patients with intractable-temporal lobe epilepsy. The present study aimed to characterize intranuclear LA synaptic connectivity and to test the hypothesis that differences in the spread of flow of neuronal activity may relate to spontaneous epileptiform activity occurrence. Electrical activity was evoked through electrical microstimulation in acute human brain slices containing the LA, signals were recorded as local field potentials combined with fast optical imaging of voltage-sensitive dye fluorescence. Sites of stimulation and recording were systematically varied. Following recordings, slices were anatomically reconstructed using two-dimensional unitary slices as a reference for coronal and parasagittal planes. Local spatial patterns and spread of activity were assessed by incorporating the coordinates of electrical and optical recording sites into the respective unitary slice. A preferential directional spread of evoked electrical signals was observed from ventral to dorsal, rostral to caudal and medial to lateral regions in the LA. No differences in spread of evoked activity were observed between spontaneously and non-spontaneously active LA slices, i.e. basic properties of evoked synaptic responses were similar in the two functional types of LA slices, including input–output relationship, and paired-pulse depression. These results indicate a directed propagation of synaptic signals within the human LA in spontaneously active epileptic slices. We suggest that the lack of differences in local and in systemic information processing has to be found in confined epileptiform circuits within the amygdala likely involving well-known “epileptic neurons”. © 2017 The Author(s)


Graebenitz S.,University of Munster | Kedo O.,University of Munster | Kedo O.,Jülich Research Center | Speckmann E.-J.,University of Munster | And 8 more authors.
Brain | Year: 2011

While the amygdala is considered to play a critical role in temporal lobe epilepsy, conclusions on underlying pathophysiological mechanisms have been derived largely from experimental animal studies. Therefore, the present study aimed to characterize synaptic network interactions, focusing on spontaneous interictal-like activity, and the expression profile of transmitter receptors in the human lateral amygdala in relation to temporal lobe epilepsy. Electrophysiological recordings, obtained intra-operatively in vivo in patients with medically intractable temporal lobe epilepsy, revealed the existence of interictal activity in amygdala and hippocampus. For in vitro analyses, slices were prepared from surgically resected specimens, and sections from individual specimens were used for electrophysiological recordings, receptor autoradiographic analyses and histological visualization of major amygdaloid nuclei for verification of recording sites. In the lateral amygdala, interictal-like activity appeared as spontaneous slow rhythmic field potentials at an average frequency of 0.39Hz, which occurred at different sites with various degrees of synchronization in 33.3 of the tested slices. Pharmacological blockade of glutamate α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors, but not N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors, abolished interictal-like activity, while the γ-aminobutyric acid A-type receptor antagonist bicuculline resulted in a dampening of activity, followed by highly synchronous patterns of slow rhythmic activity during washout. Receptor autoradiographic analysis revealed significantly higher α-amino-3-hydroxy- 5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid, kainate, metabotropic glutamate type 2/3, muscarinic type 2 and adrenoceptor α1 densities, whereas muscarinergic type 3 and serotonergic type 1A receptor densities were lower in the lateral amygdala from epileptic patients in comparison to autopsy controls. Concerning γ-aminobutyric acid A-type receptors, agonist binding was unaltered whereas antagonist binding sites were downregulated in the epileptic lateral amygdala, suggesting an altered high/low-affinity state ratio and concomitant reduced pool of total γ-aminobutyric acid A-type receptors. Together these data indicate an abnormal pattern of receptor densities and synaptic function in the lateral nucleus of the amygdala in epileptic patients, involving critical alterations in glutamate and γ-aminobutyric acid receptors, which may give rise to domains of spontaneous interictal discharges contributing to seizure activity in the amygdala. © 2011 The Author.

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